Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Where Does He Go To Get His Reputation Back?
From the Chicago Sun Times: A Chicago Catholic priest, who had been accused of sexually abusing a minor nearly 20 years ago, is being reinstated to active ministry after a Cook County Sheriff’s office investigation found the allegation was unfounded, the Archdiocese of Chicago said Tuesday.
The Rev. Michael W. O’Connell will resume his role on Thursday as pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish in Chicago, the archdiocese said in a statement.
At a news conference at Holy Name Cathedral, O’Connell said he is “grateful that due process brings us to true justice. . . . I look forward to being back with my people.”
He added, “I trusted that justice would be done, that the process would work and that the truth would come out . . . I think one always has moments of concern, but I knew the truth and I knew that the Lord stood with me.”
At the request of Cardinal Francis George, O’Connell agreed to step aside from his parish on Dec. 4, 2013 while Archdiocese of Chicago officials investigated whether O’Connell engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor while assigned to Our Lady of the Woods Parish in Orland Park.
The single allegation was received by the Archdiocesan’s Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review and reported to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County State’s Attorney, the archdiocese said. The archdiocese also cooperated with the Cook County sheriff, who conducted an independent investigation.
The sheriff’s office “thoroughly investigated the allegation” while working with the State’s Attorney’s Office, and was unable to support any charges, Eleni Demertzis, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said in an email statement. http://www.suntimes.com/26863459-761/priest-reinstated-after-inquiry-finds-abuse-claim-unfounded.html#.U04Dd37n-1t
People know of the priests that have bee accussed and convicted of childabuse and they should be harshly in the criminal justice system.
But there have been numerous priests who have been falsely accused because of either mistaken identity or worse,someone looking for a big payday from the Catholic Church.
And so, where does Father Michael W. O’Connell go to get his reputation back?
Can he sue the supposed victim of slander? Doubtful.
What a shame.