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Church Awaits Word From Vatican On Trials

Jan 7, 2003 | Chicago Daily Herald

Chicago Archdiocese officials say they're not sure when two suburban priests accused of sexual misconduct might face church trials.

The archdiocese will ask for permission from the Vatican to put the Revs. John A. Robinson of Elk Grove Village and Raymond F. Skriba of Round Lake through trials held before church tribunals. The tribunals would decide whether the men are to be dismissed from the priesthood.

Archdiocese officials aren't sure how the Vatican will respond to the request, or when, spokesman Jim Dwyer said Monday.

"This is a new process, one that's still being finalized," he said.

In the past, the Catholic Church has not used tribunals to hear sexual misconduct cases, Dwyer said. Using tribunals in this manner is one of the initiatives the church approved late last year in the wake of a national sex abuse scandal.

David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said Monday that his group worries that the trial process would hide misconduct by priests instead of exposing it.

"We're not happy that this will be a secret process," he said.

Dwyer rejected the idea that the trials would hide misconduct or help priests escape punishment.

"That's definitely not what this process is about," he said. "It's being designed to help search for truth and bring justice to everyone involved."

Members of Queen of the Rosary parish in Elk Grove Village and St. Joseph parish in Round Lake were told over the weekend that Robinson, 57, and Skriba, 70, had been removed from their ministries because of sexual misconduct allegations.

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