Former Franklin Park Priest’s Actions Documented in Archdiocese Files
By Mark Lawton
Franklin Park Herald-Journal
February 4, 2014
|Raymond Francis Skriba. Priest accused of abuse.|
A priest who served at St. Gertrude’s Church in the 1960s was accused multiple times of sexually abusing minors.
According to documents recently released by the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Rev. Raymond Francis Skriba was repeatedly accused of molesting minors, including at least two at St. Gertrude’s of Franklin Park.
Those documents — 208 pages worth just concerning Skriba — were released to the law firm of Jeff Anderson and Marc Pearlman, who represented more than 50 people against the archdiocese. They may be viewed at www.andersonadvocates.com.
Skriba was ordained in 1957 and assigned as assistant pastor at Queen of the Universe on the South Side of Chicago for five years before being transferred to St. Gertrude’s on July 7, 1962.
According to a 2002 report from the Professional Responsibility Review Board for the Chicago Archdiocese, two women had told the archdiocese that they had been sexually abused by Skriba at St Gertrude’s while kids.
Skriba went on to serve at several other parishes including St. Walter (1967 to 1970), St. Joseph Church in Round Lake (1970 to 1976), Immaculate Conception Church in Waukegan (1976) to Oct 1984) and back to St Joseph Church.
As early at 1970, a woman contacted the archdiocese saying Skriba had molested her. Skriba was soon moved from St. Walters to St Josephs.
“The cardinal sent word that Father Raymond Skriba should be changed from St. Walters and that Ray would know why,” read a memo from the Archdiocese Personnel Board.
“This whole matter should be forgotten by you as it has been forgotten by me,” then the archdiocese wrote in a July 16, 1970 letter to Skriba.
According to a 2006 report, Skriba allegedly abused a 16-year-old female while at St. Walters. A 2003 report alleged he sexually abused a different minor in 1995.
In 2002, others came forward to say Skriba had abused them.
By 2004, the Professional Responsibility Review Board said Skriba should be permanently removed from the ministry. On Aug. 4, 2004, after Skriba was retired, Cardinal Francis George instead removed “his faculties to minister as a priest” from Skriba for five years.
A representative of St. Gertrude’s Church declined to comment for this article.