The Archdiocese of Chicago is planning to release thousands of pages that document clergy sex abuse allegations to victims' attorneys. Allegations of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church have gone on for years, but if these attorneys have their way, the church will finally be held accountable for these acts.
The attorneys will make these pages public next week. The records will include information about priests who have been accused of molestations and sexual abuse as well as those who have been moved to other positions within the church where they were still able to be around children and possibly molest them. The church has agreed to release the files of 30 priests within the church.
"Until there is public disclosure and transparency ... there is no way people can learn about it and make sure it does not happen again," said attorney Marc Pearlman, who has helped represent about 200 victims of clergy abuse in the Chicago area.
The Archdiocese of Chicago has already paid over $12.6m to 16 victims of sexual abuse and will likely pay more in the future as the attorneys figure out exactly which priests were molesting children and how long the molestations lasted. Some of the priests whose names are included in the report are already dead.
The attorneys and victims say that they are not looking for money and care more about exposing the molesters and the church for hiding them and allowing them to continue working within the church and around children.
"For me, it's going to empower me again ... and hopefully it will help others out there struggling to come forward and get help," said one victim, who was abused in the early 1960s while he was a student.
Image via Wikimedia Commons.