On this edition of Interfaith Voices:
A History of Child Abuse Charges, Told Through Memos and Faxes
Six thousand pages of internal church documents–often bland personnel files, faxes and emails–tell a story no single person could. It’s a picture of evasion and quite a bit of hand-wringing, going back at least 40 years, about how the Archdiocese of Chicago handled priests accused of molestation.
Here’s just one example, from November 10, 1990, printed on church stationary. A priest writes about a conversation he had with the leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago at the time, Cardinal Bernadin, about a priest accused of abuse. “We agreed that I would not indicate to Fr. X that the Cardinal was aware of anything, unless Fr. X asked me directly,” it reads. “Unless Fr. X raises the issue, neither the Cardinal nor I will give any indication that the cardinal is aware of the charges.”
The documents were released on Jan. 21, the result of settlement between the Archdiocese and a group of victims. Many of them can be seen here. We begin our segment with the story of Joe Iacono, who says he was abused by his parish priest at age 11.
The Archdiocese of Chicago Responds
The Archdiocese of Chicago says the documents reflect a mindset of a different era, and stand for who they were, not who they are today. “We realize the information included in these documents is upsetting,” they write on their website. “It is painful to read. It is not the Church we know or the Church we want to be.” You can click here to read the full statement.
Ten Books of the Bible that Didn’t Make the Cut
In 1945, an Arab peasant discovered what came to be called “the lost books of Christianity” inside a cave in Egypt. The 52 texts, thousands of years old, paint a vastly different picture of early Christianity. Now, Biblical scholar Hal Taussig and others have chosen ten of the manscripts to include in “A New New Testament.” It includes gospels, letters and prayers that you’ve probably never heard of, from the Gospel of Mary to the Secret Revelation to John.
Jan Slattery, director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth of the Archdiocese of Chicago
Hal Taussig, editor of A New New Testament: A Bible for the 21st Century