The Office of Legal Services, Archdiocese of Chicago sent me a letter dated July 30 that just now came to hand since the letter was addressed to an old office I had which I closed more than a year ago. It is from one John C. OMalley who says I personally published defamatory statements on July 29, 2008 saying that the Rockford diocese has decided it is finished with Mundelein. A memorandum from the director of communication of the Rockford diocese to the director of communications for the archdiocese of Chicago deny this as does the bishop of Rockford. Given that you personally published these defamatory statements, writes OMalley, I am compelled to bring their falsity to your attention. He expects that I will
1. Remove the defamatory statements from your blog entry.
2. Print a retraction of the false statements contained therein
3. Refrain from making any further untrue statement regarding the relationship between St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein and the diocese of Rockford. And--
4. I must demand that you distribute your reaction to websites which republished them.
As the language brims with provocative legal terminology, I have responded swiftly by retaining competent legal counsel. My favorite colonial hero to whom I repair at times like this is William Prescott of Pepperell, Middlesex county, Massachusetts, a colonel in the Revolutionary War who commanded Americans at Bunker Hill. And his words are an axiom, at once conciliatory yet forthright:
Men, dont fire unless fired upon. If they mean to have war, let it begin here.
In checking with responsible authorities I am confident that the situation which I reported was accurate at publication. Since authorities in Rockford and Chicago deny this existed, fair enoughtheir denial is summarized on this website and reproduced in full on the Catholic Citizens website.
Essentially here is their contention. A letter from Rockford Bishop Thomas Doran says that Rockford has not pulled out of Mundelein, saying I want to assure the archdiocese that the author of this blog does not speak on behalf of any truth or any official source from the diocese of Rockford and if we are contacted about this online falsehood by any reliable media source, we will not shirk our responsibility to set the record straight.
Fair enough. Whether the statement tells it all or whether a scurrying was made so as to hastily accommodate Chicagos public relations needs is not known.
But such scurrying is not unknown in Chicago at least. The tragic case of children violated by the notorious pedophile Dan McCormack comes to mind when it is recalled that vital records from his seminary days were missing
containing the views of his superiors which might explain why he was not sent way
and thus those responsible for overseeing his conduct
and for the subsequent exploitation of innocent children
were spared blame.
The letter from OMalley concludes with these words: if the statement regarding seminarians propositioning any individual is true, it is a matter of grave concern for the Archdiocese. Therefore, if you have any additional information regarding this allegationincluding the names of any individuals involvedI ask that you please share the information with me so that the allegation can be fully investigated.
Rest assured, sir not only the archdiocese will be notified but more importantly those empowered to take swifter action than the archdiocese has exerted previously.
Meantime, I would remind attorney OMalley who is concerned about being told of instances of homosexuality at Mundelein that the rector who ordained McCormack told the Chicago Sun-Times that if he had to do it over again, he still would have ordained this man who violated children
.the rector being promoted to auxiliary bishop of Chicago, then named bishop of Tucson, Arizona, then elected vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and now approaches the time when he will ascend to the presidency of the USCCB without objection or dissent. I am not aware that there has been any mention whatsoever in the Chicago archdiocese about the former rectors statement made subsequent to his rapid promotions. Nor has his lack of contrition been an impediment to his startlingly fast rise in ecclesiastical circles.
Enough. Full texts of all statements are available on the Catholic Citizens of Illinois website
And the article still stands.