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Crime & Courts

19 priests who worked in local Cook County communities accused of child sexual abuse

Nearly 400 Illinois clergy named in statewide report

Of the 395 clergy accused in the statewide report, 19 of the mentioned clergy members spent time assigned in local communities.
Of the 395 clergy accused in the statewide report, 19 of the mentioned clergy members spent time assigned in local communities.

Three hundred ninety-five Catholic members of clergy, publicly accused of childhood sexual abuse, have been named this week in a report that highlights their Illinois service histories, allegations of abuse, history of their subsequent transfers and any disciplinary action taken by both church and authorities.

A Bannockburn-based law firm specializing in cases involving clergy abuse released the list March 20. Within it are the names and photos of the nearly 400 members of clergy who have been publicly accused in the State of Illinois of abusing one or more children. All were either accused in a public forum or a settlement was reached between the church and the victims/families, according to representatives from the firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates.

Names, photos and locations where clergy served through the years of their duties all are included in the report. They are associated or were associated with the Diocese of Chicago, Joliet, Belleville, Peoria, Springfield and Rockford.

The listing for the Archdiocese of Chicago, which serves a majority of the Cook County suburban area, includes 19 alleged child abusers who worked for periods of time in the local communities of Berwyn, Brookfield, Cicero, La Grange, La Grange Park, Lyons, North Riverside and Stickney.

They include:

Fr. David Francis Braun who served at Mater Christi in North Riverside from 1990-92

Fr. Daniel Peter Buck who served at St. Pius X in Stickney from 1989-95 and St. Francis of Rome in Cicero from 1995-2001

Fr. Thomas Carroll Crosby who served at Mater Christi in North Riverside from 1975-1982

Fr. Richard Wayne Fassbinder who served 1953-1965 at St. Hugh in Lyons

Fr. Joseph L. Fitzharris who served at St. Louise DeMarillac in La Grange Park from 1962-67

Fr. Michael Hogan who served at St. Barbara in Brookfield from 1984-1992

Fr. Walter Edward Huppenbauer who served from 1964-1968 at St. Odilo in Berwyn

Fr. Thomas Job who served at St. Cletus in La Grange from 1976-1982

Fr. Robert Louis Kealy who served at St. Cletus in La Grange from 1977-78

Fr. John Joseph (Jack) Keough who served at St. Francis of Rome in Cicero from 1965-1966

Fr. Robert E. Mayer who served at St. Dionysius in Cicero in 1990

Fr. Gary M. Miller who served at St. Leonard in Berwyn from 1972-78

Fr. Donald John Mulsoff who served at Mary Queen of Heaven in Cicero 1974-80

Fr. Russell Romano who served at St. Leonard in Berwyn from 1974-79 and in residence at St. Barbara in Brookfield from 1980-86

Fr. Howard J. Strum (Sturm) who served at St. Leonard in Berwyn from 1961-63

Fr. Albert (Alberto) Tanghal who served at St. Leonard in Berwyn from 1995-96

Fr. Richard Gregory Theisen who served at St. Leonard in Berwyn from 1966-72

Fr. James A. Voss who served at St. Hugh in Lyons from 1943-46

Fr Michael Weston who served at Mater Christi in North Riverside from 1981-86

Calling the disclosures “underreported” by Catholic bishops, firm owner Jeff Anderson said such underreporting does not adequately illustrate the breadth of the crisis within the church to parishioners or the public.

“It’s a system that works to preserve the reputation of that system,” Anderson said.  “They make the choice to conceal rather than reveal.”

Many of these members of clergy have not been arrested, adjudicated or otherwise prosecuted, Anderson said. In some instances, the statute of limitations for prosecution has run out. Some are deceased.

As to the purpose behind the release of this information, Anderson stated his support of the victims.

“Let survivors who are suffering in secrecy and silence, who perhaps weren’t believed, know that they were not alone,” he said, adding that all the information provided is a result of a thorough vetting by his firm.

“It is there as a result of a settlement made with a diocese or archdiocese,” he said. “This is not a random assortment of individuals.”

Anderson said that as far as the firm can tell, only one member of clergy named of the 395 remains in active ministry – Fr. Michael W. O’Connell who currently is assigned to St. Alphonsus in Chicago, where he has access to children.

Many others still serving “under restriction,” a diocese term for which the meaning was not clear at the time of the report.

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