Public displays of support for Pfleger make it harder for child sex crime victims to come forward

Gun Rights

When the late Chicago Archbishop Joseph Cardinal Bernardin first faced what turned out to be one of the rare false accusations of clerical sex abuse in 1993, he said of the Archdiocese’s response and investigation: “It must be done in such a way that is effective, obviously, but in such a way that will not frighten or scare off true victims.”

I do not see Fr. Michael Pfleger expressing that same concern for victim-survivors of child sex crimes when addressing the fourth allegation against him. Nor do I see it from the faith community of St. Sabina or the Soul Children of Chicago.

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The reflexive public displays of support for Pfleger are making it harder for others who have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes to come forward. As it is, the average age that a victim-survivor discloses child sex abuse is 52. And reporting on Pfleger’s supporters’ aghast responses without providing adequate counterbalance only contributes to the message that victim-survivors of all types of sexual violence are getting loud and clear: telling our truths is not safe; we will not be believed. Stay silent.

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In such an environment, it is amazing that four men have dared to come forward with allegations against Pfleger. May they get a fair hearing.

Michele Beaulieux, Hyde Park

Wrong response to Uvalde

If anything demonstrates the subservience of the Republican party to the National Rifle Association, it’s what’s happening in the Texas schools. After the slaughter in Uvalde, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott did nothing to strengthen gun safety laws. What is the Republicans’ twisted response? To send parents DNA kits for their children.

The DNA kits are meant to be used in case children go missing. However, since DNA kits were used to identify some of the 19 elementary school children killed by a maniac with an assault weapon, many can’t help but make that gruesome connection.

How sick and cynical is this? We won’t do anything to limit guns, but look how easy we’ve made it to identify your child in emergencies or a mass shooting.

Richard Keslinke, Algonquin

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