Chicago, Illinois) - Today’s Tribune reports that St. Mark’s parishioners will hold a rally tonight in support of Fr. Edward Maloney, who was just ousted by the archdiocese because of credible child sex abuse allegations. SNAP is calling and writing and publicly begging Cardinal Francis George today to stop the event from happening.
Such public support for an accused child molester intimidates other victims, witnesses and whistle-blowers (of this priest or other predators) into staying silent. That, in turn, puts kids at risk, SNAP says.
Today’s Tribune also reports that the archdiocese heard of the first abuse report against Maloney more than two years ago, in Oct. 2007. But only last week did George publicly disclose the allegations.
On Sunday, SNAP volunteers handed leaflets to members of St. Mark’s parish urging others hurt by Maloney to come forward.
SNAP is highly critical of both the church’s secrecy and the delayed announcement, because both moves gave Maloney six months to intimidate victims, threaten witnesses, destroy evidence, and fabricate alibis. It also enabled the alleged child molesting cleric to remain around kids.
SNAP believes that had George acted responsibly and disclosed the allegations against Maloney promptly, Maloney might be behind bars now. SNAP also believes Cardinal Francis George should personally visit St. Mark’s and every other place Maloney has worked, begging victims and witnesses to step forward.
Maloney’s two alleged victims are now reportedly in their late 30s and early 40s, according to a church spokeswoman.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Maloney worked at St. Marks for 21 years. He was also assigned to four suburban parishes: St. Simeon in Bellwood, St. David’s in Bridgeport, Santa Maria del Popolo in Mundelein and Mission San Juan Diego in Arlington Heights. Besides St. Mary’s, he worked at three other Chicago parishes: St. Columbkille’s on the west side, St. Ambrose’s on E. 47th, and Precious Blood on W. Congress Parkway. Maloney also taught at Quigley Preparatory Seminary.
On SNAP’s website (SNAPnetwork.org), the group has a list of 21 suggestions for Catholics on “what to do when your priest is accused.”
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