10 names added to list of clergy with ‘substantiated’ sex misconduct allegations

SHARE 10 names added to list of clergy with ‘substantiated’ sex misconduct allegations

Holy Name Cathedral | Sun-Times files

At a closed-door gathering in August with young men studying to be priests at the Catholic church’s seminary in Mundelein, Cardinal Blase Cupich boasted that the Archdiocese of Chicago’s “record” on sex abuse is “clean.”

“We are not what happened” in Pennsylvania, Cupich said, referring to a grand jury report that recently had been released in that state, showing decades of priests raping children and bishops covering up.

The cardinal also told the seminarians that an ongoing inquiry by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office into the handling of sexual predator priests in Illinois was no big deal because the archdiocese, the church’s arm in Cook and Lake counties, previously had turned over all relevant information.

But Wednesday night the archdiocese made public the names of 10 more former priests and deacons — some now dead — against whom “substantiated allegations” had been found they engaged in sexual misconduct with minors. The names, released in a statement issued by email, were added to a lengthy public list of ex-clerics.

Few details were provided about what the 10 were found to have done.

And Cupich’s press aides Paula Waters and Anne Maselli didn’t respond to requests for comment on the allegations or the timing of the announcement, which came the same night the archdiocese was announcing the closing or consolidation of a number of Catholic churches and schools on the South Side.

Thursday morning, Madigan put out a statement saying her investigation had prompted the disclosure of the new names in Chicago and at other Catholic dioceses in Illinois.

“Our initial review has found the number of Catholic clergy in Illinois with credible allegations of sexual abuse against minors is more extensive than the church previously has disclosed to the public,” Madigan said. “My investigation will continue in order to provide victims, parishioners and the public with a complete and accurate accounting of sexually abusive behavior with minors involving priests in Illinois.”

The Rockford Diocese, which includes McHenry County, “has disclosed 11 additional names,” according to Madigan’s office.

Her statement also said she “anticipates additional names will be disclosed as her office’s investigation continues.”

Regarding the 10 in the Chicago archdiocese, much of the abuse occurred years ago, according to the archdiocese, and the clerics who are still alive no longer are in ministry.

The new names include archdiocesan priests Edmund F. Burke, Thomas Carroll Crosby, Dominic Aloysius Diedrich and Thomas Francis Kelly.

The additions to the list also include deacons Patricio William Batuyong and Louis Wojtowicz, foreign priests Sleeva Raju Policetti and Czelaw Przbylo and religious order priests: Eusebio Pantoja and Carlos Peralta.

On Thursday, Cupich spokeswoman Maselli said his predecessor, the late Cardinal Francis George, had made the call not to include the names of priests who were dead when accusations were made against them.

“Cardinal George wanted the list to include only archdiocese priests who were still alive when the allegations came forward,” Maselli said.

According to Maselli, “All these cases were reported to the civil authorities, and all are from past decades.”

The Chicago archdiocese’s current full list of “clergy with substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct with minors can be found here.

Some of the 10 whose names were released Wednesday had been the subject of news reports. In one case, in 2002, the archdiocese said that Policetti, who had been assigned to St. Tarcissus Church on the Northwest Side, was accused of sexual misconduct with a parish teen. The priest fled Chicago for his native India.

On Wednesday night, the written statement from the archdiocese said it previously had listed only those priests who were alive when allegations of abuse were received. It said Cupich expanded the list “to include all diocesan, extern and religious order priests and deacons with allegations of child sexual abuse that were substantiated by the Archdiocesan Independent Review Board or similar Archdiocesan process.

“While we are adding these names today based on determinations made in past years, we are not changing our current process for receiving and handling allegations and adding names.”

A day earlier, in a speech to about 200 people at a City Club breakfast in the Loop, Cupich had said transparency is one of the key elements needed to restore trust in bishops and repair a church battered by a worldwide abuse scandal that also threatens Cupich’s patron, Pope Francis. The pope has been accused of ignoring allegations of sexual misconduct by disgraced former Washington, D.C. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who reportedly had a hand in Cupich’s rise in the church hierarchy.

Cardinal Blase Cupich said Tuesday that transparency is key to restoring trust in the church, then hustled off through the kitchen of the restaurant where he had just given a speech, refusing to speak with a reporter. | Sun-Times files

Cardinal Blase Cupich said Tuesday that transparency is key to restoring trust in the church, then hustled off through the kitchen of the restaurant where he had just given a speech, refusing to speak with a reporter. | Sun-Times files

Despite Cupich’s comments Tuesday, Waters, the cardinal’s main spokeswoman, for weeks has refused to respond to questions about how many current priests from religious orders — who might live or work in the Chicago archdiocese but are part of independent Catholic orders including the Augustinians and Jesuits — face allegations of sexual misconduct.

When a Sun-Times reporter tried to ask Cupich about that at the end of his speech Tuesday, the cardinal quickly ducked into the kitchen of the restaurant where he had spoken and out the door, saying he was late for a meeting.

The attorney general’s office said the names of “credibly accused priests” from other Illinois dioceses can be found as follows:

• The Diocese of Joliet.

• The Diocese of Rockford.

• The Diocese of Peoria.

• The Diocese of Belleville.


• Pope picks Cardinal Cupich to help organize Vatican sex-abuse prevention summit

• Cupich on scandal: ‘We have a bigger agenda than to be distracted by all of this

• Bishop who didn’t alert police on abuser-priests is living at cardinal’s mansion

• Cardinal apologies for ‘my poor choice of words’ on priest sex abuse crisis

• Cupich orders priests to address disputed TV report at Mass


The Latest
Los planes incluyen un auditorio, viviendas, parques y espacios peatonales como parte de un proyecto de 10 años de duración que podría comenzar en 2025.
Una corte de apelaciones le pidió a un juez del Condado de Cook que reconsidere si Kimberlynn Bolaños era mentalmente capaz cuando se declaró culpable en 2016. En una audiencia el martes, el juez hizo arreglos para otra evaluación mental.
Fourth grader Arianna Curry and several other grade-schoolers gathered Wednesday morning to taste test potential school menu items at Arnold Mireles Academy in South Chicago.
Tom Rezek’s legacy at St. Laurence High School in Burbank will endure long after his passing, says a former student and current school administrator.
Asked on CNN if he would accept the No. 2 slot if it was offered, Pritzker replied, “I love being governor of Illinois. … I’d be reluctant to make a change, but it’d be hard to resist a call and consideration if the nominee called me to ask to be considered for vice president.”