The Chicago Document Release


First and foremost, we believe it is important to profoundly thank the survivors who had the mettle and the courage and determination to push for the document release that the Archdiocese of Chicago was court ordered to turn over.

Cardinal Francis George did not voluntarily give up one sheet of paper on the 30 priests whose files were released.

No letter writing campaign or website statement or any mushing of the facts changes that: this was a court ordered release.

The truth is in the documents.

That is why they are so vital.

That’s also why Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops fight so hard through highly paid and high-powered attorneys to keep them from going public.

What is in the documents – those released on the 30 priests in Chicago and in the few other document releases that have occurred — was known to the Cardinals, Archbishop, Bishops – any hierarch with access to his own diocese’s files – at any time of the day, week, month, or year that this crisis has existed.

And make no mistake about it — this crisis existed before newspaper stories were written about it and television and radio broadcasts aired about it, and columnists wrote about it,  or lawyers litigated it.

Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops and Popes knew about it. It’s as simple as that.

What is in the documents could have been the underpinning of real reform in June 2002 or months or years or decades before that — or any day since.

There was never any day of the week, or any month of any year that it was okay for a priest to rape or sodomize a child.

There was never any day of the week or any month of any year that it was okay for any Cardinal or Archbishop or Bishop or any priest personnel director to find ways to protect priests who raped and sodomized children and who groomed them to lure them into situations where they could rape and sodomize children.

The representatives of the Vatican said last week in Geneva before the UN Committee on the Protection of the Child that there were “no excuses” for the sexual abuse crisis.

Cardinal George in his letters and statements disagrees.

He has excuses: bad vetting by a dead Cardinal Archbishop, evolving understanding of sexual abuse and other social ills, including domestic violence, and date rape —  and old age –  it’s all old news.

We encourage NSAC News subscribers to read the documents – and to encourage their family and friends to read the documents.

The files can be found through the good efforts of the record keepers at Bishop Accountability on its website: www.bishopaccountability,org.   You will find them in a link at the top right in the “Chicago New” file.

The documents are categorized on Attorney Jeff Anderson’s firm’s website and can be access through this link  This link also includes depositions by Cardinal George and Bishop Raymond Goerdert.

One of the categories on this site is titled” Cardinal George’s Knowledge of Abusive Priests”

A few points to keep in mind while reading the documents and discussing them:

  • There are no files in the release      regarding Daniel McCormack who was arrested and convicted on Cardinal      George’s watch. They are sealed by the court because of other cases
  • There are 35 other known priests      of the Archdiocese of Chicago who are credibly accused of abuse whose      files are not part of this release of documents.

In addition, we believe it should be noted that the Archdiocese of Chicago felt it should include this statement in its response to Attorney Jeff Anderson’s statement on the document release: The Archdiocese of Chicago is in full compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, adopted by the U.S. Bishops in Dallas in June 2002.

The Charter, written and adopted by Bishops – with Cardinal George as its principal author – does not include any provision or sanction or even a slap on the wrist for dealing with Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops who covered up the rape and sodomy of children by priests and who kept the perpetrators in positions of respect and positions of continued access to children.

— Kristine Ward, Chair, National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC)


One thought on “The Chicago Document Release

  1. tommyles

    “Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops” Don’t let parish priests off the hook. I know of not one priest who has freely spoken about the cover-up, nor have I heard one priest publicly call upon his brother priests to reveal all they know. Obviously there is more concern for their Roman-collared brothers than for any victim.


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