May 03, 2005

Woman says Southeast Side priest abused her

Chicago Sun-Times

May 3, 2005


A Park Forest woman ended what she said was 39 years of silence Monday, talking publicly about a priest who she says abused her at a Southeast Side church.

Carmen Severino filed suit against a Catholic order known as the Claretians, claiming it has harbored pedophile priests, including a priest who once led Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church.

The priest she accuses of molestation is now dead. An attorney for the Claretians called it "interesting" that Severino came forward with her story only after he had died.

"It's unfortunate she chose a press conference to talk about this before contacting us with these terrible allegations," said attorney Rick Leamy. "It's interesting they've known about this for so long, but waited until the poor man died before filing a lawsuit. Now, he can't defend himself."

Severino laid out her claims in a Daley Center press conference that included her attorneys, members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, as well as a Chicago man who filed a 2003 lawsuit against the Claretian order, claiming he was sexually molested by another Claretian priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Posted by kshaw at May 3, 2005 06:00 AM