An example of the cavalier attitude that the Archdiocese of Chicago had about disciplining priests who molested girls, Fr. William Lupo was allowed to remain in ministry for more than nine years after the archdiocese first heard that he was abusing girls.
In 1993, the Archdiocese began hearing numerous complaints about Lupo. The victims’ stories were consistent and told about how Lupo would find the most vulnerable girls and invite them to his room alone. The Clergy Review Board deemed at least one of these allegations credible. Although the board expressed concern that Lupo was the only priest in the parish with a school of more than 700 children, he was not removed. Instead, Lupo was placed under the supervision of a nun, who had no authority to limit or restrict Lupo’s actions. Within a month, there were reports that he had been bringing girls to his room for confirmation interviews. The review board and Cardinal Bernardin took no real action when they learned the news.
Months later, Lupo went on vacation with a married couple, who agreed to “monitor” Lupo and fill out the appropriate paperwork. This is in direct violation on the monitoring protocols.
Throughout 1994, other victims came forward to accuse Lupo. Lupo told his superiors that the allegations were a “conspiracy” and that he was innocent.
O’Malley took Lupo off monitoring in 1995 and reappointed him pastor for another six-year term, without restrictions. Restrictions were put back into place in 1998 after another victim came forward.
In 1999, a victim met with Cardinal George, who told her that he was familiar with Lupo’s case. He told her that Lupo was in ministry, but will remain on monitoring “until he dies.”
By 2001, more victims were complaining that Lupo was still in ministry. At the same time, the Clergy Placement Board had received numerous complaints about how Lupo ran his parish. A case review in 2002 showed that Lupo had no on-site monitor. 2 Citing ill health, Lupo resigned in 2002. He has at least seven known victims. His last known address is in Elk Grove Village, IL.
TIMELINE OF DOCUMENTS
6/30/1965- Assistant Pastor, Our Lady Help of Christians
6/08/1972- Assistant Pastor, Our Lady, Mother of the Church in Chicago
6/11/1979- Associate Pastor, St. Mary’s in Des Plaines
6/10/1986- Associate Pastor, Our Lady of the Wayside in Arlington Heights
7/01/1990- Pastor, St. Peter Damian in Bartlett
4/01/1993 Victim alleges that Fr. Lupo engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with her and her sister, both minors, nine years ago at St. Mary in Des Plaines. (AOC 017207-017208). Victim notes she heard stories of Ft. Lupo exposing himself to minor females. (AOC 017212)
4/07/1993 Memo from Steve Sidlowski to file. Need to protect other girls from him. He is looking for a vulnerable woman. Victims’ stories consistent, evaluation needed. If monitor not possible, pull him out temporarily. (AOC 017213-017214)
Steve Sidlowski phone call to POM chance of denial from Lupo, not something for withdrawal but some action must be taken. (AOC 017214)
Meeting of Review Board states reasonable cause Lupo engaged in sexual misconduct with minor. Recommendations of restrictions not to be alone with anyone under 18, if he refuses immediate withdrawal. (AOC 017215-017216)
1st Stage Review of Lupo, credible accusations. Special concerns that Lupo is only priest in current parish with 700+ kids in program. (AOC 017218-017220)
4/08/1993 Phone call to Lupo re Review Board recommendations. Lupo says he can virtually assure to go along with it. He must notify others. (AOC 017221). Phone call notifying redacted names of Review Board decision, having heard Lupos denial they favor withdrawal. Will contact friend who have more info on Lupo. (AOC 017222)
4/09/1993 Phone call with Lupo. Lupo wanted to comment on allegation with certain victim, he laughed and stated “I can tell you’ve never seen [victim] have you?” Implying reference to her physical appearance. Stated that it’s a conspiracy. (AOC 017223- 017224)
4/17/1993 Meeting Minutes of Review Board-nearly completely redacted. The Board closes its file in the matter. (AOC 017230-017232)
4/19/1993 Letter from Fitness Review Admin re Board recommended to Archbishop that restrictions be imposed of Lupo and further action should be taken. (AOC 017235, 017238)
5/13/1993 Call to Rev. Jerry Riordan notifying him of new allegations against Lupo and that another person with more info will be calling. Riordan stated Lupo has been bringing unaccompanied minor girls into rectory for interviews/confirmation recently. (AOC 017242)
Call with Rev. Charlie Rubey re Lupo recently requiring all minor girls to meet with him unaccompanied. (AOS 017243)
6/11/1993 Call to victims re update on status and second review (AOC 017251-017252)
6/29/1993 Review Board Meeting minutes-nearly completely redacted. Decision to allow Lupo to continue in ministry. (AOC 017257-017262)
7/07/1993 Call from victims husband concerned about case against Lupo. (AOC 017265)
7/09/1993 Victim calls and states that Lupo should be removed from his pastorate. (AOC 017269)
7/24/1993 Meeting Minutes form Review Board, nearly completely redacted. Lupo remain in ministry continued monitoring. (AOC 017278-017283)
8/31/1993 Penal Precept Restricting Lupo from being alone with minor. (AOC 017307)
5/02/1994 Lupo requests restrictions be lifted. (AOC 017321)
6/08/1994 Victim requests Lupo’s removal from ministry. Victim concerned for young girls and wants restrictions to continue. (AOC 017331-017332)
6/24/1994 Call with Lupo, new accusation. He states that it’s the other victims ganging up on him and they are up to it. Victim was abused at St. Mary’s. (AOC 017364- 017365)
8/11/1994 Victim call, allegation in 1980’s at St. Mary Des Plaines. (AOC 017373)
6/12/1995 Lupo write to review board requesting to continue in ministry without monitoring. (AOC 017438-017440)
8/04/1995 Letter from O’Malley re Lupo off monitoring. (AOC 017448)
4/22/1996 Lupo appointed another 6 year term at St. Damian. (AOC 017495)
9/22/1998 Victim statement concerned that Lupo restored he poses danger to minors. (AOC 017504)
11/21/1998 Lupo’s file reopened with restrictions reinstated. (AOC 017509)
11/24/1998 Letter to Cardinal George re Lupo file reopened, still in ministry with restrictions. (AOC 017512)
5/11/1999 Memo re meeting with victim. Cardinal George is aware of Lupo’s case. Remains in ministry, monitored until he dies. (AOC 017525)
3/14/2002 Lupo in full ministry. Fourth allegation made in 1998. No on-site monitor. (AOC 017628)
6/24/2002 Letter from Lupo re resigning due to health. (AOC 017654-017655)
6/27/2002 Letter from Lupo to Cardinal George re request for laicization. (AOC 017656)