The Chicago Archdiocese Does Not Publicly Identify Deceased Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse

The first time it happened, the priest offered Terry Neary a cookie.

Neary, then an eighth grade student, was working an after-school job in the rectory of St. Ethelreda in Chicago. He followed the Roman Catholic priest into the kitchen, where, Neary has alleged, the 75-year-old man sexually abused him that day and a few more times in 1971.

The Archdiocese of Chicago later determined the abuse was “possible,” according to its own records, but it has not added the priest’s name to a list on its website that identifies nearly 80 clergy members believed to have abused children.

That’s because of a controversial church policy that doesn’t require full investigations into allegations made against deceased priests. By the time Neary first reported his abuse to the archdiocese in 2001, the priest, the Rev. William R. Leyhane, had been dead for two decades.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune