Anti-Abuse Group Pickets Holy Name Cathedral
By Jon Seidel
April 7, 2013
|A passerby (L) receives literature and information from (L-R) Dr. Rosemary McHugh, Kate Bochte and Barbara Blaine in front of Holy Name Cathedral Sunday
Newly exposed sexual abuse allegations at the Diocese of Joliet and reports that Cardinal Francis George intervened in at least one case in the southwest suburbs drew victims’ advocates to Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago on Sunday.
The allegations are contained in records released as part of a legal settlement in an unrelated case.
Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), pointed to a Chicago Tribune article this weekend that said the cardinal intervened in a case of abuse by a priest after Joliet officials did little to contact an alleged victim who purportedly made a claim against the Rev. Donald Pock in 1975.
That victim turned out to be the brother of a priest in the Chicago Archdiocese, according to the Tribune.
SNAP also said it recently exposed a priest working at a hospital in the Joliet diocese even though Bishop R. Daniel Conlon determined it was not safe for him to work in a parish.
The Joliet diocese explained in a statement on its website the priest was under the supervision of the hospital’s head of chaplain services and was to have no unsupervised contact with children.
Finally, Blaine said George agreed in 2008 to release files from the Archdiocese of Chicago and has yet to do so. Blaine and two additional SNAP representatives handed out flyers to passers-by Sunday morning outside the church on State Street.
“We think Cardinal George could do more and should do more,” Blaine said.
A spokeswoman for the Chicago archdiocese said it is involved in a process to “responsibly address the publication of documents related to sexual misconduct with minors by priests.”
She also said the archdiocese has been publishing on its website since 2006 a list of archdiocesan priests with substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct with minors.
There are no priests serving in ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago who have been the subject of a substantiated allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor, she said.