Bishop Raymond Goedert, a long-time top Chicago Catholic official, has passed away. We hope this news brings comfort to dozens of wounded adults who were sexually assaulted as kids by clerics whom he allegedly protected. As stated in a 2007 deposition, Goedert “admitted that he knew 25 priests had broken the law over the years by molesting children but that he never alerted police.” according to the Sun-Times.
Who knows how many children were violated and are still suffering today because Goedert repeatedly refused to report known and suspected child molesting clerics to the police?
In recent years, despite admitting his inexcusable role in protecting predators, Goedert was allowed by Cardinal Blase Cupich to live in the “cardinal’s mansion” on Chicago’s Gold Coast.
“While many mourn the loss of this man, we and the survivors mourn the loss of so many childhoods that were shattered by failing to report the crimes to the police.”– Jeff Anderson
When the wrongs of a complicit church official are ignored or minimized, the wounds of already struggling abuse victims are deepened. And when bishops who ignore, enable, or hide abuse are lionized in death, other church supervisors are more apt to ignore, enable, or hide abuse both now and in the future.
Whitewashing past cover-ups almost guarantees future cover-ups. To begin deterring clergy child sex crimes and cover-ups, the Catholic hierarchy must first acknowledge wrongdoing, not minimize it.
To avoid rubbing more salt into the present wounds of hundreds of abuse survivors, we urge Cardinal Cupich to hold a low-key service for Goedert and avoid the pomp ceremony and misleading eulogies that are so often inappropriately given about church officials whose actions have caused immeasurable harm to countless survivors.