CHICAGO — Months after documents showed it had concealed the sexual abuse of children by priests for decades, the Archdiocese of Chicago released files Thursday on about three dozen more abusive clergy members to fulfill Cardinal Francis George’s pledge to do so before he retires. “We cannot change the past but we hope we can rebuild trust through honest and open dialogue,” George said in a statement released overnight. “Child abuse is a crime and a sin.” The archdiocese released the files on 30 abusive priests in January as part of a legal settlement, and it posted on its website Thursday the internal records related to 35 others. Altogether, the 15,000 pages of records show how the archdiocese treated abuse allegations from the early 1950s until recently. They only cover cases in which the archdiocese substantiated the abuse accusations, and don’t include those in which a priest died before his accuser came forward. “Cardinal George wanted it finished on his watch,” said John O’Malley, special counsel to the archbishop for misconduct issues. O’Malley said George didn’t want Bishop Blase Cupich to have to deal with the issue when he assumes leadership of the nation’s third largest archdiocese later this month…. Read full this story
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