A new study that is been released by several victims groups is reporting that 60 percent of Chicago Roman Catholic parishes have had a priest at some point that was accused of sexually abusing a minor, according to the Chicago Breaking News Center. The study was released by such groups as Voice of the Faithful, African-American Advocates for Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse and the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
Barbara Blaine, who is the founder and president of SNAP, is encouraging victims to speak up, and is asking victims to come forward and get help, contact police and expose predators, and to protect children and start the healing process.
The groups’ study found sex abuse accusations in the Chicago area against 97 priests from the years 1917 through 2009. 65 of the allegations have been reportedly confirmed by the Archdiocese of Chicago, while 32 other accusations were found in the news and in lawsuits.
The new report claims the highest concentration of Chicago priest sex abuse allegations come from the following neighborhoods: Bridgeport, West Town, Lincoln Park and Garfield Ridge. Some Chicago churches had more than one priest accused, such as St. Christina Parish, St. Aloysius Church, and St. Leonard Parish in Berwyn.
The press release issued by SNAP contained some disturbing allegations, such as 256 of the Chicago Archdiocese’s approximately 400 parishes have had a priest accused of sexually abusing a minor, 30 parishes have had two or more such priests, and finally that a disproportionate number of these parishes were located in low income neighborhoods.
Illinois sexual abuse lawyers from our firm are currently working on several cases against the Chicago Archdiocese, all stemming from claims involving Father Daniel McCormack. McCormack was working out of St. Agatha’s Parish, which is located in a low income neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago.
The SNAP the press release accuses officials from the Chicago Archdiocese as being “less than forthcoming” in regards to priests that abused children. It goes on to state that for years lawyers representing African-American victims have argued that the archdiocese”dumps” a disproportionate amount of predators into African-American communities.