February 19, 2005

5 new sex-abuse claims upheld here against priests

Chicago Sun-Times

February 19, 2005

BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Staff Reporter Advertisement

There were 1,092 new sexual abuse claims against at least 756 Roman Catholic priests and deacons last year -- including five confirmed reports of misconduct by former Chicago Archdiocese clergy -- according to a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops-commissioned survey released Friday.

Half of the priests in question were previously accused and most of the alleged incidents were decades ago, said Kathleen McChesney, head of the bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection. Seventy-two percent of the priests were either dead, defrocked or removed from the churches before the latest allegations surfaced.

Chicago Archdiocese spokesman Jim Dwyer would not give details of the five reports but said the priests involved had died or left the ministry. "We did not have to remove any priests," he said.

A companion audit also released Friday found that 96 percent of the nation's 195 dioceses, including Chicago, were fully complying with the child protection programs that bishops mandated nearly three years ago when they adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People to address the sex-abuse crisis.

Posted by kshaw at February 19, 2005 06:10 AM