May 03, 2005

Woman says priest abused her, files suit

Daily Southtown

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

By Jonathan Lipman
Staff writer

A 49-year-old Park Forest woman sued an order of Roman Catholic priests Monday, accusing it of protecting a priest she says sexually abused her in the 1960s.

Carmen Severino said she confronted her abuser last year as he lay dying in a nursing home. Although the Rev. Thomas Paramo could not speak, she believes he understood her accusations.

"I told him what he did to me and how it affected my life all these years," Severino said. "He began to cry. I told him it was no longer a secret."

Paramo died at the nursing home eight months ago, said Severino's attorney, Jeff Anderson.

Severino filed her lawsuit Monday in Cook County Circuit Court against Paramo's order, the Claretian Missionaries. The Oak Park-based order ran Our Lady of Guadalupe Church at 3200 E. 91st St., Chicago, where Severino worked in the rectory as a young girl and where her uncle was a pastor.

Posted by kshaw at May 3, 2005 06:16 AM