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Chicago archdiocese hid decades of child sex abuse

Published: Tue, January 21, 2014 @ 10:53 a.m.

CHICAGO (AP) — After a 13-year-old boy reported in 1979 that a priest raped and 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.

But the Rev. William Cloutier, who already had been accused of molesting other children, was returned to ministry a year later and went on to abuse again 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 today that show how the archdiocese tried to contain a mounting scandal over child sexual abuse.

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.


1northsidedeedee(20 comments)posted 7 months, 4 weeks ago

The current pope has defrocked about 300 priests
over the last 2 years. As a practicing Catholic, the aforementioned 300 is a joke and a drop in the bucket. Heads should role and those who propagated this criminal activity should be prosecuted and jailed. The pontiff should worry more about this black eye on the Catholic Church, and less on income inequality….which he knows even less about. I got real nervous about our new pope
when he refused to condemn a gay person and
the life style of a gay. Quote, "Who am I to condemn this gay man". Well, your EXCELLENCE, I learned in
religion class that you,Mr Pope, is the Pontiff of Christ. If you won't, who will. Can we fire thePope?

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