Church Studies Abuse Claims against Priest

Chicago Tribune [Chicago IL]
November 19, 2006,1,7440010.story?

The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and a Catholic religious order are investigating allegations of sexual abuse that have been made against a priest while he was assigned to a Pilsen parish.

The complaints against the priest, a member of the Benedictine order, surfaced after lawyers for a Bellwood man said they reached an undisclosed financial settlement in April with the archdiocese and the Order of St. Benedict.

At a news conference Saturday, Michael Calvin, 47, said that between the ages of 13 and 17, he was molested several times a month in a church-owned apartment that the priest called "the clubhouse."

Calvin was joined at the news conference outside the St. Procopius Church rectory, 1641 S. Allport St., by his attorney, Phillip Aaron, and Barbara Blaine of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Blaine said she hoped Calvin's story would encourage others who may have been abused by the priest to come forward.

Susan Burritt, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, would not confirm the settlement with Calvin but said the archdiocese was working with the Benedictines to investigate a number of accusations of sexual abuse lodged against the priest.

Aaron said he represents 15 other men who allege they were abused by the priest while he was serving at St. Procopius.

The priest was pastor of the church from the late 1960s until 1986, Burritt said. He is now retired and is not involved in any kind of ministry, she said.


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