Statement of the Archdiocese of Chicago on the Anderson firm press event.
As usual, today’s dramatic Anderson press event mixes facts with conjecture and uses terms interchangeably that differ in important ways. The list of priests with substantiated allegations against them on the archdiocese website is accurate and complete.
As it clearly states, it lists priests whose allegations were substantiated by the archdiocese. We do not say or imply that the list includes all accused priests.
It refers readers to the orders involved when the information sought pertains to a member of a religious order.
The list distributed by Anderson today is said to be of “publicly accused priests.” As experience has taught, accusations against priests and others are sometimes unfounded. We do not question the memories of the accusers or the motivations their attorneys, but listing everyone accused – even in error – is neither just nor productive.
We cannot vouch for the completeness of the lists religious orders maintain, nor can we compel them to publish a list. We cannot publish information we do not have. Therefore any such list we would publish might well be incomplete. Moreover, there is no way we can ensure that updates to the orders’ lists will be communicated promptly with the archdiocese.
In conjunction with the other five dioceses in Illinois, the Archdiocese of Chicago is developing protocols for the listing on its web site of the names of members of religious orders who have been assigned to a ministry of the archdiocese and who have had allegations of child sexual abuse against them substantiated by their orders. The archdiocese is proceeding with care because of the need to fair and accurate in the posting of such a list, especially where the determinations are being made by entities other than the archdiocese itself. We will likely continue to refer those seeking information to the orders themselves as we do now and note that information has been published as provided by the order.