Marion Snieg: Allegations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor Have Been Admitted, Established or Determined to Be Credible

Marion Snieg

Ordained: 1955

  • 1955-1960: St. Jane de Chantal, Chicago, IL (CHI)
  • 1960-1966: St. William, Chicago, IL (CHI)
  • 1966-1976: Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Chicago, IL (CHI)
  • 1976-1981: St. Constance, Chicago, IL (CHI)
  • 1981-1993: St. Rosalie, Harwood Heights, IL (CHI)
  • 1993-2003: St. Thomas Villanova, Palatine, IL (CHI)
  • 2003-2005: Retired; Residence- Bishop Lyne Home, Chicago, IL (CHI)
  • 2005: Died
Fr. Marion Snieg Documents
Fr. Marion Snieg Timeline

Fr. Snieg was first accused of sexual abuse only a few years after his ordination, when in 1959, a young parishioner of St. Jane de Chantal told his father he had been sexually abused by Fr. Snieg. The father informed the Archdiocese, who reportedly said it would “take care of it.” Many years later, in 2001, the man came forward again, after which Fr. Snieg was removed. At least one alleged victim of Fr. Snieg was included in a settlement reached by the Archdiocese in late 2003 and another was included in a 2005 settlement. Fr. Snieg is included on the Archdiocese of Chicago’s list of “Clergy with Substantiated Allegations of Sexual Misconduct with Minors.”

Despite Knowledge that Snieg Abused Boys in the 50’s, Archdiocese Keeps Snieg in Ministry Until His Retirement in 2002

Starting in 1957, the Archdiocese of Chicago had knowledge and reports that Snieg was sexually abusing kids at Quigley South High School and at Snieg’s personal apartment. Despite this, Snieg continued to work in parishes with the blessing of Cardinals Meyer, Cody, Bernardin and George until his retirement in 2003.

Snieg was not “monitored” until the 1980s, after parishioners and victims reached out to Cardinal Bernardin to report abuse and suspicions of abuse. In 1991, Vicar for Priests O’Malley acknowledged that Snieg and the Archdiocese were “vulnerable” because Snieg was a pastor and the Archdiocese would not remove him.

Even after an NBC news report that Snieg had made sexual advances towards children, Snieg stayed in parishes as a “weekend associate” where he still had access to children. When the Boston scandal broke in 2002, Snieg’s case went before the review board, where he admitted to molesting kids. The same year Snieg retired, George opened a canonical trial to remove Snieg from the priesthood in 2003. Snieg died in 2005.


5/3/55 – Ordained

1955 – Associate, St. Jane de Chantal

1954                “Other allegations in Marion Snieg file” from this year. (AOC 004976)

1956-1957       Snieg sexually abuses boys at Quigley swimming pool according to a 12/30/86 letter to Cardinal Bernardin. (AOC 004970- AOC 004973; AOC 004976; AOC 005019)

1957-1958       Cardinal Meyer informed that Snieg took two boys to Quigley pool, on vacation and to Snieg’s apartment where Snieg fondled and masturbated at least one of the boys according to an Archdiocese abstract. (AOC 004943; AOC 004976; AOC 005017)

1959                Snieg sexually abuses a minor. (AOC 004976)

1960 – Associate Pastor, St. William’s

1966 – Associate Pastor, Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

1968                “Other allegations in Marion Snieg file” from this year. (AOC 004976)

1971                “Other allegations in Marion Snieg file” from this year. (AOC 004976

1976 – Associate Pastor, St. Constance

1976                According to a 2011 Archdiocese investigation, Snieg fondles and kisses a boy at St. Constance rectory, school and at Galena residence. (AOC 005015)

1981- Pastor, St. Rosalie

12/4/84            Parishioner letter to Archdiocese, “There are a few boys that spend a great deal of time with Father (Snieg).” Father takes them to his home in Galena and serves them alcohol there, the Rectory and parish functions. “The affection he shows these boys is very strange.” “If anything, Father Snieg should be helping this boy not corrupting him.” “Since you are aware of this situation I pray you will make the right decision as to what action should be taken.” (AOC 00494947- AOC 004949)

12/19/84          Parishioner letter to Archdiocese, “the strong association Father Marion Snieg has with the young boys. I have seen him on several occasions give these under age boys alcoholic beverages on church grounds. He also shows them an unnecessary amount of affection. He seems to always have to hug and touch them. He always takes these boys to his private home in Galena for week-ends. The totals of our fundraising affairs do not coincide with the totals published in our financial statements. (AOC 004946)

12/30/86          Cardinal Bernardin informed by a survivor that he and other boys were sexually abused by Snieg at Quigley swimming pool. The survivor wants to let Bernardin know Snieg is sex offender, express concern for other boys and to ensure he doesn’t hurt anyone else. (AOC 004970-AOC 4973)

2/25/87            Letter from Cardinal Bernardin to Vicar for Priests Fr. Tom Ventura. “I agree with Marion’s inclination to become an associate. It is safer.” (AOC 005002)

5/29/87            Cardinal Bernadin after consulting with Vicar for Clergy, Fr. Tom Ventura, because of past difficulties places Snieg on Monitoring Program and as interim Pastor June 1 – Dec 1, 1987. No unsupervised contact with people under age 18. (AOC 004945)

12/1/87            Snieg has stroke but remains in parish. (AOC 004995)

7/9/89              Letter from Bishop Goedert to Cardinal Bernardin reminding him that Snieg abused a boy in 1956-57. “I suspect we all just of lost track of it (Snieg Case).” Goedert recommends Snieg reappointment as Pastor since Snieg preparing to close Parish school in 1990. (AOC 004995- AOC 004996)

12/30/91          Letter from Vicar for Priests, Fr. Patrick O’Malley to Bishop Thaddeus Jabukowski. Snieg is in a vulnerable position because he is a pastor we are leaving in place. We also are vulnerable. O’Malley to call him regularly. We don’t think it is a risk for any children. (AOC 004993)

6/8/92              NBC news report that Snieg made sexual advances. (AOC 004974)

6/22/92            Cardinal Bernadin wrote to Snieg, “I will do everything in my power to see that you will be able to exercise ministry in the future because you have done so well in the past.” (AOC 004940)

3/17/93            Snieg informed his case not going before review board, he is ready to resign from the parish on April 1, take a vacation and begin July 1 at Addolarta Villa. (AOC 004986- AOC 004987)

1993 – Weekend assistant, St. Thomas Villanova

2/1/95              Fr. Patrick O’Malley visits Snieg, need to present the cases of the last five to new review board, Snieg comments, “He confided that there are times when the events of the past come back to haunt him.” (AOC 004983)

6/15/02            Snieg admits to fondling of two boys. Cardinal does not allow public announcement to avoid scandal since Snieg’s nephew is rectory of Quigley Seminary. (AOC 004941)

6/20/02            Snieg admits to Wrestling and feeling a boy’s penis. (AOC 004942)

9/3/02              Archdiocese interviews Snieg regarding sexual abuse of a boy. Snieg admits to taking boys on car rides and fondling on several occasions. Snieg could not estimate number of occasions. (AOC 004939-AOC 004939)

12/21/02          Snieg case before Archdiocese Review board, Snieg fondled, orally copulated, and sodomized two boys. (AOC 004935, AOC 004937)

7/9/03              Snieg advises Vicar for Clergy of travel to Detroit. Full time monitor is Father John McNamara. Fr. John Kauzlarich and Fr. Festle are monitors on the trip. (AOC 004933)

7/31/03            Cardinal Francis George through his Promoter of Justice Father William Woestman requests permission from Holy See Congregation Doctrine of the Faith to conduct a penal canonical trial of Snieg. (AOC 004932)

11/6/03            Secret Archive File of Snieg reviewed by Chancellor Jimmy Lago. (AOC 004930)

2003 – Retired, Bishop Lyne Home

3/11/04            Snieg testified before Archdiocese Board. “I do remember having his hands behind his back feeling my penis. That (engaging minors in oral sex) is not my custom. I don’t remember masturbating him…I don’t remember the specifics.” (AOC 005004-AOC 005005)

2005 – Deceased