March 31, 2006

Archdiocese to search files for early evidence of abuse

Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear
Tribune staff reporter
Published March 31, 2006

The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago will hire investigators to comb seminary files for evidence of sexual misconduct by priests before they were ordained, Chancellor Jimmy Lago said in an interview Thursday.

"I don't expect to find misconduct in those files," Lago said. "If there is misconduct in them, it would be a priest that would not be in ministry. The issue is to make sure that's the case."

The need to examine personnel and seminary files in all dioceses was echoed by U.S. Catholic bishops' national lay watchdog panel, which on Thursday released results of its third annual audit of dioceses' policies to protect children.

Patricia Ewers, chairwoman of theAbuse Tracker Review Board, urged all bishops to compile personnel and seminary records for all living priests "and have them available to the appropriate authorities." She also asked that bishops be made aware of abuse allegations as soon as they surface.

Posted by kshaw at March 31, 2006 07:10 AM