(CBS) — Attorneys for sexual assault victims of 30 Chicago priests say documents they’ll release Tuesday show a tangled web of deceit by the Archdiocese.
Six thousand pages of investigative reports will be made public as part of an agreement between victims’ attorneys and the Archdiocese.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine says while the two sides agreed to release the documents, they don’t agree on what they say.
What is the source of the disconnect? Intent.
A mistake is not a cover-up, Cardinal George has said. The victims’ attorneys say there was no mistake, but a conscious effort to protect the archdiocese and its priests.
Outside Holy Name Cathedral Monday, a group representing victims gathered to distribute leaflets urging Catholics to pay attention to the information released on Tuesday.
“The one thing we know that endangers children and protects predators is silence, and yet that’s essentially what has happened for years, and it’s still happening with most church employees,” says David Clohessy, national director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.
Attorney Jeff Anderson calls it “a tangled web of conscious decisions by church higher-ups to deceive.”
He’ll name nine alleged enablers, including three Cardinals — Cody, Bernardin and George; two bishops, Paprocki and Kicanas; and four other church administrators.
Archdiocese Vicar General Frank Kane, who is not among the nine, responds that it was “never the intention to cover up or hide a crime … We made mistakes that led to a horrific nightmare.”
Francis Cardinal George admits mistakes allowed father Daniel McCormick to abuse youngsters even after he was first accused.
But Anderson, the attorney, says at the same time the cardinal didn’t immediately remove another priest charged with sexual abusing an 8 year-old girl, prompting SNAP to question the cardinal’s commitment to protecting children.