Groups to File First-Ever Complaint Against Vatican, Naming Two Cardinals, Two Bishops & Top Official in Rome
Sidewalk News Conferences Tomorrow at 11:15 a.m. & 1:15 p.m. CST
Tomorrow, at a sidewalk news conference with signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse advocates will:
- Announce a new formal, first-ever complaint to the Vatican against five top Chicago area Catholic officials for ‘ignoring, hiding and/or enabling’ child sex crimes by clergy.
- Blast those church figures for ‘doing little or nothing’ to protect others from a predator priest who is believed to now live and work ‘unsupervised and unmonitored’ in the Chicago area (despite a recent $2 million settlement paid to one of his victims).
- Urge the church officials to warn police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners, and the public about him.
- Harshly criticize the heads of three dioceses (Chicago, Joliet, Rockford) and a Chicago-based Catholic religious order for how they mishandled the predator, the case and the settlement.
- They will also beg anyone who saw, suspected, or suffered his crimes or church cover-ups to call law enforcement.
- Thursday, November 30 outside two church institutions where the now-ousted but still living credibly accused predator priest worked or lived:
- At 11:15 a.m. outside the St. John Stone Friary, 1165 E. 54th Pl. (in Hyde Park), Chicago.
- At 1:15 p.m. outside St. Rita of Cascia High School, 7740 S. Western Ave., Chicago.
A veteran Chicago attorney who represents abuse victims and the former long-time director of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
A large photo of the abuser and a poster listing credibly accused Chicago clerics in the Augustinians, the religious order to which the predator priest belongs.
Last week, a $2 million settlement was announced between local Catholic officials and a suburban Chicago man, Robert Krankvich, who was raped as a minor by Fr. Richard J. McGrath. Yet today, Fr. McGrath is “on the loose, walking free, unmonitored, unsupervised and unpunished,” living at an undisclosed location, advocates say, “despite being ousted from his job at a school by church supervisors, having what a student thought was an image of a naked boy on his phone, withholding that phone from superiors or law enforcement, taking the 5th amendment, committing other inappropriate behaviors and continually disobeying his supervisors.”
The advocates say at least five Chicago area church authorities are responsible for “the ongoing threat to children caused by Fr. McGrath and their continued secrecy about other predators.” Earlier this year, Pope Francis permanently established the first-ever process through which formal complaints can be filed with the Vatican against church officials who improperly deal with child sexual abuse. Two groups – SNAP and Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA) – are submitting such a complaint alleging that the five church officials “are still hiding and protecting dozens of other predators besides Fr. McGrath endangering the vulnerable and re-victimizing the wounded and “impeding abuse investigations by deterring victims from speaking up.”
Those targeted by SNAP and ECA are Archdiocese of Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, Joliet Bishop Ronald Hicks and Rockford Bishop David Malloy (in whose jurisdictions Fr. McGrath worked, lived or may live or work now) and are two Augustinian officials – one in Chicago and one in Rome. The latter is Chicago native Cardinal Robert Prevost, now a top Vatican official overseeing the selection of new bishops across the world. He is the former head of the Augustinian’s Midwest province.
Around 2018, church officials sent Fr. McGrath to live at St. John’s Friary as allegations began to emerge that he had child pornography on his cell phone and had sexually abused a student.
“The monastery is next to a daycare center and around the corner from a Catholic elementary school,” reported one local news outlet. “Yet no one informed the people running those institutions Fr. McGrath was living there.” His current whereabouts are unknown.
After leaving the friary in 2018, supposedly without permission, Fr. McGrath has been living and working without supervision by the Augustinians; yet he remains an Augustinian priest.
- McGrath worked at Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox (where the abuse happened) for 32 years, St. Rita’s High School in Chicago for 11 years and at St. Edward Central Catholic High School in Elgin in the Rockford Diocese for four years. His full work history is here.
- The lawsuit was filed in April 2018 and was set for trial on September 29. The settlement was finalized last week and publicized in the Sun-Times last Sunday.
- The regional headquarters of the Augustinians is at 10161 S. Longwood Drive in Chicago (872 265 1100).
- Providence Catholic High School (815.485.2136) is at 1800 W. Lincoln Highway in New Lenox in the Joliet Diocese (815.221.6100).
- Robert Krankvich’s attorneys are Marc Pearlman, Jeff Anderson and Daniel Kotin. See their contact information below.
- The Augustinians’ lawyer is Michael Airdo (312.647.2483) and Fr. McGrath’s lawyer is Patrick Reardon (773.271.5716).