Attorneys & Victims Blast Catholic Officials in Illinois on Abuse

‘More than 150 predators still hidden,’ they argue

They disclose whereabouts of 25+ living abusers in IL

All ‘credibly accused’ clerics ‘pose immediate threats to kids’


At a news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their advocates will disclose a new list of 25+ clerics who now live in Illinois, are not supervised, and are publicly and credibly accused of molesting children (nine of them are in Cook County).

For the safety of kids, they will also urge Catholic officials to immediately:

  • Warn the public about ALL predator priests, especially those who are still alive.
  • Post on church websites the names of ALL the substantiated abusers who were ‘outed’ last week in an attorney general’s report.

And they’ll urge Illinois elected officials to:

  • Keep pressuring bishops to ‘stop splitting hairs.’
  • Reform archaic, predator-friendly laws that make it challenging to legally pursue predator priests and their enablers.


Tuesday, June 6 at 1:00 pm (two weeks after the AG’s 700-page abuse report was released).


Outside Chicago archdiocesan headquarters (“chancery office”) located at 835 N. Rush St. in Chicago, IL.


Two local clergy abuse survivors, their attorneys, and two other clergy abuse survivors who lead two groups, SNAP (the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) and ECA (End Clergy Abuse).

1. General Kwame Raoul has said that Illinois bishops are essentially still protecting at least 149 credibly accused child molesting clerics by refusing to list them on diocesan ‘credibly accused’ predator lists. Advocates and attorneys want bishops to immediately “stop splitting hairs” and add these 149 names to their online ‘credibly accused’ lists.

2. The group will reveal a list of 25+ priests who are in Illinois and the counties in which they now live. They want church officials to immediately publicize the whereabouts of these proven, admitted, and credibly accused clerics across the state (nearly all of whom are unsupervised).

Raoul’s report showed that most of the omitted clerics belong to Catholic religious orders and worked in the Chicago Archdiocese. Abuse reports against them all were substantiated by church officials.

“The church hierarchy pretends this crisis is ‘old news,’ but we’ve identified 25+ men who are living among unsuspecting neighbors across Illinois. That’s a huge present-day risk,” said Chicago attorney Marc Pearlman. “Job one is to prevent more crimes by alerting the public to these potential perils.”

Nine of the living predator priests live now in Cook County:

  • Richard Barry Bartz
  • Arthur Bendixen
  • Daniel Peter Buck
  • John Walter Calicott
  • James Vincent Flosi
  • James Craig Hagan
  • Leonard Huske
  • Daniel J. McCormack
  • Walter Joseph Turlo

Six are in DuPage County:

  • Gary D. Berthiaume
  • John Furdek
  • Lawrence M. Gibbs
  • Lawrence W. Mullins
  • John James Keehan
  • Robert D. Friese

Two are in Kane County:

  • Joseph Marcel Lessard
  • William D. Virtue

One is in Will County:

  • Gerald J. Simonelli

Precise addresses of the credibly accused clerics will NOT be provided.

3. The advocates are also calling on public officials to enact legislative reforms that will help prevent child sex crimes in the future and keep prodding bishops to ‘come clean’ with the names of and information about all abusers.

Disclaimer:  All alleged perpetrators identified in this press briefing have been publicly identified in a list released by an archdioceses or dioceses or the 2023 Office of the Illinois Attorney General Report on Catholic Clergy Child Sex Abuse accusing them of child sexual abuse. The claims against these individuals may not have been thoroughly evaluated in a civil or criminal court. The allegations should not be considered proven or substantiated in a court of law. All individuals should be considered innocent until proven guilty.