Abuse Survivors Rally at Archdiocese as Bishops Meet in Mundelein - NBC Chicago
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Abuse Survivors Rally at Archdiocese as Bishops Meet in Mundelein

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    Abuse Survivors Rally at Archdiocese as Bishops Meet in Mundelein

    For more than six months, the Catholic Church has been dealing with priest sex abuse crisis -- with attorney generals weighing in from Pennsylvannia to in Illinois. On Wednesday, survivors of abuse had their say. Mary Ann Ahern reports. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019)

    For more than six months, the Catholic Church has been dealing with priest sex abuse crisis -- with attorney generals weighing in from Pennsylvannia to in Illinois.

    On Wednesday, survivors of abuse had their say.

    Signs of arrivals at the week-long Catholic bishops retreat at the seminary in Mundelein, as well as evidence of tight security, with police on bicycles patrolling the grounds, were visible.

    Pope Francis requested the week long solitude. Leading the retreat will be Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, who has preached to three popes.

    While they meet--much of it in silence--the global church is preparing for a world wide summit on priest abuse in Rome next month, says University of Notre Dame professor Timothy O'Malley.

    "It’s an occasion of self reflection, a chance of what it means more deeply to be a bishop," he explained.

    Chicago’s cardinal Blase Cupich is one of the lead organizers of the Rome summit.

    Members of SNAP, Survivors of those abused by priests, are calling on Pope Francis to remove Cupich from his leadership post for the summit noting the recent investigation from Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

    "If you have covered up as a bishop, or a cardinal or a church official, for the sexual abuse and rape of a child, you will be removed from that position of public trust and authority," Peter Isely, of SNAP, said.

    Outside Mundelein -- ribbons of prayers were attached to the gates, seen as a way to connect to those who may set new policy for bishop accountability.

    "The task at hand is to figure out who investigates the bishops, and this will be a policy that has to be discussed really at a church wide level," O'Malley said.

    The retreat now underway continues until Jan. 8--there will be no press conferences as it is meant to be a week of quiet reflection.

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