Lawsuit Accuses Chicago Priest of Abuse in California

A California lawsuit was announced Tuesday naming a priest who retired from Chicago in 1973 and moved to the West Coast and allegedly abused young men there.

The suit was announced as Cardinal Blase Cupich revealed a new audit for the Chicago Archdiocese. At the same time, the original members of the National Lay Review Board spoke out on bishop accountability.

Former federal prosecutor Bob Bennett was in Chicago, who lead the first Lay Review Board for the Catholic Church back in 2002, reacted to the current crisis surrounding how Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was promoted over the years, despite allegations of sexual misconduct.

"The layman's voice is not heard," Bennett said.

Former FBI agent Kathleen McChesney was also on the first review board.

"All bishops report to Rome, in the same way all roads lead to Rome," she said.

Bennett and McCarrick were close friends. Bennett said he was unaware of the sexual misconduct allegations surrounding McCarrick.

"It now appears that the hierarchy or many in the structure of the Vatican knew about his activities," he said.

On WTTW Monday night, Cupich announced a new audit for the Chicago Archdiocese. An outside expert will review the archdiocese's files and review the history of it's handled the allegations.

"Just to double check," Cupich said.

Bennett said he supports ordaining women as priests and making celibacy voluntary.

"They're a bunch of old men like me and they don't like change," he said. "They don't like reform."

As Bennett sees it, the church's future depends on whether those in the pews are heard.

"The laity is starting to say, the heck with those guys over in Rome, my relationship with God, (which) is why I go to church," he said.

As the Illinois Attorney General opens a new state-wide investigation into the files on priest sex abuse, Cupich says the archdiocese has nothing to hide and pledges cooperation.

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