Internal documents released to the public on January 21st by the Archdiocese of Chicago revealed more details about child sexual abuse allegations against 30 priests, all in cases prior to 1996. While most of the cases have already settled with the archdiocese, and none of the 30 priests named in the documents are still in the ministry, the release was an emotional moment for victims, families, and advocates who have worked for nearly a decade to reach this moment of truth. There are still 35 other priest files yet to be released, that also include some more recent allegations.
The alleged sexual abuse of hundreds of children is wildly disturbing, but what is even more disturbing is the pattern of response indicated in the nearly 6,000 pages released today. It’s clear that incidents were not immediately reported to authorities, accused priests were simply moved or promoted, and many priests were placed back into the ministry. Although Church officials pass the blame to their predecessors and deny any attempts to cover up abuse scandals, it’s clear that there were serious problems with how these cases were handled—and hundreds of victims were left to carry the weight of that negligence.
My name is Mark Brown, and I'm a partner with the law firm of Lane & Lane. In our firm, we've worked with many families who have been affected by sexual misconduct against children—including cases against doctors, Boy Scout leaders, and even several of the priests named in these recently released documents. We are currently litigating a case against the Archdiocese of Chicago that is scheduled to go to trial in September of this year. Our case alleges that the Archdiocese was negligent in allowing abuse against our client to occur, and that they failed to prevent the priest in question from being ordained and appointed as a pastor and teacher given what was known about his past transgressions.
We understand the confusion, pain, and anger that families face when evidence of abuse comes to light—or when the pain of abuse has been suppressed for years. We urge you not to suffer in silence. If you need help, please don’t hesitate to reach out—we will handle your case with the skill, compassion, and discretion that you want and deserve. http://www.lane-lane.com/practice_areas/child-sex-abuse-lawyers-chicago-sexual-abuse-of-minor.cfm