February 09, 2005

Roman Catholic Chaplain Quits Post Amid Sex Scandal


POSTED: 6:07 pm CST February 8, 2005
UPDATED: 8:38 pm CST February 8, 2005

CHICAGO -- The Roman Catholic chaplain at the University of Chicago's Catholic Center has quit on Tuesday, one day after a former student of his came forward claiming that the chaplain had sexually exploited him years ago.

The man, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the Rev. Michael Yakaitis had an abusive sexual relationship with him when the man was a seminarian 15 years ago, adding that he told seminary officials at the time.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests met outside the office of the university's president on Monday, where they raised questions about the priest and asked that he be removed, NBC5's Mary Ann Ahern reported. Critics said to place a priest back in the same age group as the young man with whom he had a sexual relationship is outrageous.

"The priest has used his position of power and authority for sexual gratification," said SNAP spokeswoman Barbara Blaine. "That is a violation and anyone that has done that should not be allowed to continue in a position of power and authority."

Yakaitis, who has resided at the university's Catholic Center called Calvert House for the past three years, admitted that he had a sexual relationship with a seminarian at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, but said it was an "adult" relationship. At the time, Yakaitis was the dean of students, while the seminarian was 18 years old.

Posted by kshaw at February 9, 2005 07:09 AM