After a 13-year-old boy reported in 1979 that a priest raped him and later threatened him at gunpoint to keep quiet, the Archdiocese of Chicago assured the boy’s parents that although the cleric avoided prosecution, he would receive treatment and have no further contact with minors.continue at CBS Chicago
But the Rev. William Cloutier, who already had been accused of molesting other children, was returned to ministry a year later and accused of more abuse before he resigned in 1993, two years after the boy’s parents filed a lawsuit. Officials took no action against Cloutier over his earliest transgressions because he “sounded repentant,” according to internal archdiocese documents released Tuesday that show how the archdiocese tried to contain a mounting scandal over child sexual abuse.
RELATED: Read The Documents | Documents By Priest
For decades, those at the highest levels of the nation’s third-largest archdiocese moved accused priests from parish to parish while hiding the clerics’ histories from the public. The documents, released through settlements between attorneys for the archdiocese and victims, describe how the late Cardinals John Cody and Joseph Bernardin often approved the reassignments. The archdiocese removed some priests from ministry, but often years or decades after the clergy were known to have molested children.
While disturbing stories of clergy sexual abuse have wrenched the Roman Catholic Church across the globe, the newly released documents offer the broadest look yet into how one of its largest and most prominent American dioceses responded to the scandal.
Also from JS:
Records released Tuesday that document years of sexual abuse by priests in the Archdiocese of Chicago — and the actions and inactions of church officials over the years — include at least four sex abusers with ties to Wisconsin.Read more from Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/newswatch/chicago-archdiocese-sex-abuse-documents-name-4-with-wisconsin-ties-b99188817z1-241340031.html#ixzz2rFDXhhbg
The St. Paul, Minn., law firm of Jeffrey Anderson made public 6,000 pages of documents involving 30 priests after eight years of negotiations with church officials over how they were to be released.
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I've said before, release of these documents is absolutely the right thing to do. The good ol' boy network has got to go. I don't have time to follow it closely, but some of us know through the case of Fr. Alfred Kunz that the ties of abuse to +Bernardin have long been in question.