|More Than Half of Chicago Parishes Have Had a Priest Accused of Sex Abuse, Report Says
By Becky Schlikerman
October 11, 2010
A coalition of victims advocate groups has completed a study that contends more than half of Chicago's Roman Catholic parishes have been served by a priest accused at one time or another of sexually abusing children.
The study looked at assignments made between 1917 and 2009 of priests accused of abuse.
"We need to start talking about this and … not bury it under the carpet," said Bob Kopp, vice president of Chicagoland Voice of the Faithful, one of the groups involved in the study.
A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Chicago said officials have not seen the study but, told of the report's highlights, questioned its conclusions.
"From the description of what we have heard, it appears that the analysis and conclusions are questionable," said Colleen Dolan of the archdiocese in an e-mailed statement. "The priests referred to in the … report have all been removed and are not in ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago."
To compile the study, researchers with the advocacy groups used the Official Catholic Directory, a phone book of sorts for priests and other church officials, and a database created by Boston-based bishopaccountability.org that lists 97 Chicago priests accused, admitted or convicted of sexual abuse.
The Chicago Archdiocese has substantiated 65 cases of abuse since 1950. The additional 32 cases were gleaned from media reports and lawsuits, according to bishopaccountability.org.
The other groups behind the study were Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and African American Advocates for Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse.
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