Archbishop Lucas Mentioned during Priest Abuse Lawsuit Announcement
By Maya Saenz
October 18, 2018
The scandal rocking the Catholic church is hitting closer to home. This time an accuser says she met with Archbishop George Lucas after making complaints about two priests.
Lucas was the bishop in Springfield, IL at the time of the claims. On Thursday, one of the plaintiffs specifically mentioned Lucas by name at a news conference in Chicago announcing a lawsuit.
Lucas is not being sued, however, he was mentioned by a plaintiff as having done nothing to investigate claims of priests sexually abusing kids.
During a press conference, three men and a one woman who say they were sexually abused by priests decades ago filed a lawsuit against every diocese in Illinois for an alleged ongoing scheme to cover up sexual assault by priests.
"I remember clearly in the late 80s. In my late teens, early twenties. I said, someday I will be healthy enough and I will be healed enough that I will do something about this," said plaintiff Cynthia Yesko.
She claims she was sexually abused by two different priests in Springfield, IL in the 1970s when she was a child. Yesko says in 2006, she told Lucas, who at the time was the bishop for the Springfield diocese about the alleged abuse. She didn't get an appointment with Lucas until a year later.
It wasn't until the summer of 2007, I got any response. And the response was, we want you to have a meeting with Bishop Lucas and it's going to be an apology. Or an acknowledgment. And I went into that meeting prepared for that. And what happened instead was that I was sat at a conference table and he was across from me. And he stared at me in silence," Yesko said.
Yesko said no action was ever taken against the priests who allegedly abused her.
"At this age, I had no resources. I was just a little child. I couldn't stand up to nobody. Look at me. How was I going to do that. And so I said to Bishop Lucas, this is wrong. What you are doing is wrong. I came here thinking this was an apology and an acknowledgement for what I went through. And the only reason I came forward was because there are children being hurt," added Yesko.
3 News Now alerted the Archdiocese of Omaha about Yesko's statements. A spokesperson said Lucas was out of town Thursday and was unaware of the statements.