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Church Sex Abuse Files Released by Archdiocese of Chicago

By    |   Thursday, 16 Jan 2014 02:00 PM

Church sex abuse files released Wednesday by the Archdiocese of Chicago could potentially shed new light on the decades of alleged abuse by members of the clergy in the Windy City and surrounding area.

The Chicago Archdiocese, which is the nation's third largest, handed over approximately 6,000 pages of documents involving allegations of sexual abuse against 30 priests as part of settlements with the victims.

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While church officials called the agreement an effort to "bring healing to the victims and their families," the victims said the disclosures and transparency was the only way to learn from what happened and allow both the Church and victims to recover and move forward, The Associated Press reported.

"Hopefully it will help others out there struggling to come forward and get help," 62-year-old Joe Iacono of Springfield, Ill., a victim of abuse in the early 1960s, told the AP.

Bishop Francis Kane, a ranking official for the Chicago Archdiocese, led a news conference Wednesday about the document release in which he apologized for the abuse.

"I have seen firsthand the pain and suffering of the victims and their families," Kane said. "What we are doing now, I hope that it will bring healing and hope to the people that have been affected by these terrible sins and crimes."

John O'Malley, the archdiocese's attorney, warned those in attendance at Wednesday's press conference about the document's contents, telling reporters that "the information is painful; it's difficult to read, even without the benefit of hindsight."

According to Church officials, the majority of the abuse took place prior to 1988 and has not occurred after 1996.

On Sunday, Cardinal Francis George, who has headed the archdiocese since 1997, released a letter in which he apologized to parishioners for the actions of his predecessors. His predecessors reportedly relocated priests suspected of abuse to different parishes in which they were able to victimize more youths.

Thus far, the Chicago Archdiocese has reportedly paid upwards of $100 million to settle sex abuse claims.

One of those predator priests whose crimes are detailed in the document released is that of Fr. Daniel McCormack, who in 2007 was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to abusing five children while he was a parish priest and a teacher at an area Catholic school, the AP reported.

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Church sex abuse files released Wednesday by the Archdiocese of Chicago could potentially shed new light on the decades of alleged abuse by members of the clergy in the Windy City and surrounding area.
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2014-00-16
Thursday, 16 Jan 2014 02:00 PM
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