Widespread criminal sexual abuse and cover-up by officials in the Roman Catholic Church has been well publicized, though insufficient action has been taken to address the wrong. A case in point is the Chicago “Boys’ Club”. Here is some information about it from http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/abbott/041008 :
On May 30, 1984,
choir director and professor Francis E. Pellegrini, an acquaintance of
Greeley's, was found stabbed to death on Chicago's South side. Pellegrini had
been stabbed 20 to 47 times. His dog had also been stabbed, but survived.
To date, the murder remains officially unsolved. But there is more to the story.
Pellegrini reportedly had knowledge of a clergy pedophile ring operating in the Chicago area, and had a meeting scheduled with then-vicar of priests Fr. Tom Ventura about the matter. (Ventura left the priesthood in 2002.) Pellegrini was murdered before that meeting took place.
In his 1999 non-fiction book "Furthermore! Memories of a Parish Priest," Greeley writes:
"...But even in Chicago, the ring of predators about whom I wrote in the paperback edition of 'Confessions' remains untouched. There is no evidence against them because no one has complained about them and none of their fellow priests have denounced them. Those who have been removed are for the most part lone offenders who lacked the skill to cover their tracks. The ring is much more clever. Perhaps they always will be. But should they slip, should they get caught, the previous scandals will seem trivial.They are a dangerous group. There is reason to believe that they are responsible for at least one murder, and may perhaps have been involved in the murder of the murderer. Am I afraid of them? Not particularly. They know that I have in safekeeping information which would implicate them. I am more of a threat to them dead than alive" (p. 80).
Enter attorney Sheila Parkhill. Parkhill has been investigating this "ring of predators," also known as The Boys' Club, for over two years now. She believes Greeley does in fact have information — proof, even — about this group, reportedly comprised of at least six priests (one of whom is now a bishop) who are still in active ministry.
But Greeley isn't talking. If pressed on the matter, he seems to have given people, even the Chicago police, some cock-and-bull story about it. Go figure.
These priests, according to Parkhill, have been responsible for the ."abuse of children. murder, and credit card theft and fraud."
An article at http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=28294 sheds additional light on the case :
In the late 1980s, two young Chicago private investigators, Bill Callaghan and Hank Adema, agreed to assist a "friend of a friend," whose child had been molested by a priest of the Chicago Archdiocese.
The parents of the abused child sought help after the Archdiocese under Joseph Cardinal Bernardin threatened to counter-sue following their original allegations. Before the scandal of clerical child abuse came to the public's attention through the efforts of the mass media, it was common practice for a diocese to file a libel suit against parents who charged diocesan clergy with abusive behavior.
As their investigation into the background of the abusive priest proceeded, Callaghan and Adema discovered the existence of a homoerotic group, made up mostly of priests, calling itself The Boys' Club.
During their inquiry into the membership and activities of The Boys' Club, a woman identifying herself as the girlfriend of a murdered church organist contacted the investigators and stated that she had information that would be useful to them.
The woman's friend was one Frank Pellegrini, once the organist and choir director at All Saints-St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church on Chicago's South Side. Pellegrini had also served as chair of the Sociology Department of Loyola University of Chicago.
According to the information obtained from the girlfriend, Pellegrini had a homosexual relationship with one of the priests involved in The Boys' Club, but was in the process of leaving the priest-lover and marrying her.
Before completely severing ties with the priest, however, Pellegrini discovered that The Boys' Club was involved with far more than homosexual relations. Tied closely with their sexual exploits was ritualistic satanic worship and the regular abuse of young children from low-income, ethnic families.
Pellegrini informed the Chicago Archdiocesan Chancery, and scheduled a meeting with one of the archdiocese's top officials.
The day before the meeting, Pellegrini was brutally murdered in his home, which showed no signs of forced entry.
Callaghan, who spoke with police personnel originally working on the case, stated that Pellegrini was found with his hands tied with barbed wire and had been stabbed repeatedly.
Even Pellegrini's dog was slashed, leaving it seriously wounded but alive.
In the opinion of police detective/profilers working on the case, the brutality and manner of the killing indicated that it was carried out either by a woman or a homosexual, Callaghan stated.
Pellegrini was stabbed 47 times – the same number of years he had lived.
Just after Pellegrini's body was discovered, and while police were still on the scene of the murder, police observed two unusual incidents, Callaghan reported.
The first involved the arrival of then-Cardinal Archbishop of Chicago – and one of the most powerful men in the American Catholic Church – Joseph Bernardin. Although there was never an indication that Bernardin met Pellegrini, he arrived at the murder scene and quizzed police personnel on the progress of the investigation.
Left unanswered was how Bernardin learned of the killing and why he should personally visit the scene of a relatively unimportant individual whom he had no reason to know.
The second incident involved Pellegrini's dog. As the police conducted their investigation at the scene, the dog remained quiet, still suffering from its wounds. When the dog saw priests come into the apartment, it suddenly became aggressive and barked wildly.
The Pellegrini murder occurred in 1984 and was "reopened" with federal funds in the early 1990s, but many of the investigation's informal police notes have been "lost," and important leads in the case have never been fully followed up, according to Callaghan. The Pellegrini case, at present, remains one of the many hundreds of unsolved Chicago murders.
Although Callaghan never met Pellegrini, nor participated in the original investigation, he and Adema found that whatever secrets the case entailed posed a direct threat to their own lives.
As Callaghan and Adema pressed on with their investigation on behalf of their client, they learned of a warning, which came through contacts in the Chicago Police Department.
Callaghan learned that mob informants had stated that a contract had been offered on his life, and on that of Adema, by an individual closely tied to the Pellegrini case.
Although no one in the local underworld was interested, there did exist the real possibility that the contract could be accepted by "a black or biker gang," Callaghan revealed.
The full extent of The Boys' Club influence in Chicago – and beyond – still remains unclear, as does the extent of ritual abuse associated with clerical assaults on children.
The character of the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardine of Chicago with respect to sodomite involvement is displayed athttp://www.americasvoices.org/archives2004/AbbottM/AbbottM_042004.htm :
Some years back, during the Chicago reign of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin (from 1982 to his death in 1996) conservative commentator Thomas Roeser, a Catholic, was on a program with Chicago homosexual activist Rick Garcia, a purported Catholic. After the program ended, Garcia told Roeser, in a snide manner, "I have more of an 'in' with Bernardin than you", to which Roeser responded, "I'm sure you do!"
Bernardin, as many faithful Catholics will attest, was one of the most "homosexual-friendly" bishops in the U.S.; and he wielded much power and influence in the American church. During his reign, liberal dissenters flourished while faithful priests and laymen were either left out in the cold, or were persecuted by Bernardin and his underlings.
As the article below in the Boston Globe reveals (see http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/stories/032202_minn.htm ), significant money has been paid to keep the lid on cases like this :
Two Roman Catholic archbishops confirmed yesterday that in the mid-1990s they were involved in a legal settlement of a claim that San Diego Bishop Robert H. Brom coerced a seminarian into having sex when Brom was bishop of Duluth, Minn.
However, the former seminarian who leveled the charges retracted them after reaching the settlement that provided him with a sum that was less than $100,000, Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz of Anchorage said in an interview. At the time of the agreement, Schwietz was bishop of Duluth.
Brom, in a statement last night, denied the allegations, which stemmed from the 1980s. Brom said the charges against him - and three other bishops and several priests - had been disproved by an investigation and retracted by the former seminarian.
While declining to provide a copy of the retraction, the diocese last night released a statement containing what it said was a portion of the retraction. It read: ''Following careful investigation by many attorneys working independently, hard facts have been brought to light which contradict [the former seminarian's] allegations and disprove what he thought he remembered. ... Having no other claims of sexual misconduct against bishops, priests and institutions ... [he] freely retracts each and every allegation and claim against each of them, and welcomes the assistance provided herein toward a healthy life.''
The statement, issued by Bernadeane Carr, spokeswoman for the San Diego Diocese, made no mention of a settlement. However, it stated that ''some minimal insurance'' money had been paid to the former seminarian's lawyer to help him receive counseling.
The statement said the accused priests opposed any monetary settlement because ''that would be misinterpreted as a payoff.''
In an accompanying statement that he sent to priests and parishioners in San Diego, Brom said, ''I want to assure you that I have never engaged in sexual misconduct and that, therefore, any and all allegations against me are false.'' He said the allegations had been spread by ''those who presently, and for years have made me the target of their slanderous attacks.''
However, according to an affidavit filed last week in an unrelated case in San Diego Superior Court, the former seminarian told a friend that he only recanted the charges so he could receive his settlement money. The friend, Mark Brooks of San Diego, another former seminarian, said in his affidavit that the former seminarian told him his retraction letter was ''false.''
Archbishop John G. Vlazny of Portland, Ore., said in an interview that the retraction by the seminarian was a condition insisted on by the Duluth diocese in return for the settlement. At the time the case was settled, Vlazny was the bishop of the Winona diocese in southern Minnesota, where the seminary is.
The former seminarian could not be reached for comment. His attorney, Herbert J. Friedman of Lincoln, Neb., declined to be interviewed.
According to Vlazny, the former seminarian accused other top prelates, including the late Chicago Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, of coercing seminarians at Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minn. into having sex.
Bernardin, who died in 1996, was publicly accused of sexual abuse by Stephen Cook, another former seminarian, in 1993. The following year, Cook, who was dying of AIDS, withdrew the charge. Cook said repressed memories that had surfaced during therapy and led him to file suit against Bernardin were ''unreliable.'' Cook said they were no longer accurate.
Vlazny said he did not place much credibility in the accuracy of the charges against Brom and the others ''because they were just too bizarre to believe'' and that an inquiry into them by his judicial vicar cast doubt on their accuracy. However, Vlazny said he was uncertain whether a formal retraction of the charges was ever made.
The cost of the settlement, which Vlazny said was ''in the ballpark but somewhat less than $100,000,'' was shared between the Winona diocese, which operated the seminary, and the Duluth seminary, where the young man had resided.
Asked why he would settle a suit that would pay nearly $100,000 if the allegations were disproved, Vlazny said: ''I viewed this [settlement] not as a matter of justice but as a matter of charity.''