Bravo: Chicago Tribune Breaks Rank and Refuses to Print Names of Accused Priests Where Claims of Abuse Are Unsubstantiated

Manya Brachear

Avoiding rumor and innuendo: The Chicago Tribune's Manya Brachear

When the Chicago Tribune's Manya Brachear reported the story of 31 Chicago-area grown men suing the Congregation of Christian Brothers religious order alleging abuse from decades past, it seemed to be no different from the thousands of other stories in the last few years that have been reported about alleged abuse long ago in the Catholic Church.

However, the Brachear's article included a passage that was a pleasant surprise:

"The Tribune is not publishing the names of brothers listed in the lawsuit because they have not been convicted of abuse at any of the three schools, and it is not known whether the order has substantiated the allegations against them."

For decades, Catholic priests have been singled out by the media as presumed guilty by any accusation, no matter how long ago, without so much as an arrest, indictment, criminal conviction, or even a Church finding that the claim might be "credible."

Even long-deceased priests whose accusations have been unsubstantiated – and are no longer around to defend themselves – have had their names broadcast and plastered across the media landscape as if they were convicted child molesters.

By contrast, the mainstream media has allowed any abuse claimant to make an accusation under the cloak of anonymity, compromising an accused priest's right to a fair and public trial.

Kudos to Brachear and the Tribune for considering basic fairness and breaking from this unjust practice.

We hope that more newspapers take the high road and follow suit.


  1. Martha says:

    Ms Brachear, for one, does the right thing. 


    Good news for journalism.

  2. Julie says:

    Bravo! Fairness, FINALLY. Pats on the back. I am a former journalist appalled and upset by all the unfairness, bias and slanting in these articles. I read a recent article that did not say HOW MANY accusations were filed last year, only that they have gone down, making it look like the scandal is STILL GOING ON. Bravo! Bravo! Amazing how we Catholics get excited over fair treatment for unsubstantiated accusations. Normally the media wants us to go down the drain. As do some of the commenters here. Ha ha.

  3. jim robertson says:

    If your applauding the woman reporter you should open with Brava not Bravo. FYI.

    And also FYI you keep on about crimes committed "long ago", so what? A murder is never forgotten nor aged out by statutes of limitation why should our injuries be ignored because of time?  Oh yea no witnesses according to you my injury occured 50 yrs ago but I found witnesses, including the perp who admitted it through the head of the Marianist Order in California. You people are grasping at straws. You are so passive aggressive, if you took decent action towards victims instead of what you do. You would :A, feel better and B, be closer to the love Jesus spoke of.

    But you don't want that. You want power and that's all you want. Sad!

    • Walter says:

      Jim, you must have missed the passages about forgiveness as you go about judging everyone else.

      Let it go.


      Let it go.

  4. Publion says:

    The SOLs never close on a murder simply because it is considered the ultimate crime – literally depriving a human being of life. No other crime achieves that end-state.


    Nor can we lightly and without very substantial demonstration reduce the protection of SOLs (protection not only for the accused but for the integrity of the entire justice-system and thus for the common-weal and all the Citizenry generally) on some metaphorical claim that for all practical purposes sex-abuse (wherever it falls on that broad and elastic spectrum) is the same as murder (thus, e.g., soul-murder, spirit-murder, and all the various ways some will try to connect sex-abuse to the crimes of the Holocaust).


    Conceptually speaking, and as I have said before, to be a “witness” in the vital and strict sense is to be a person who literally saw the alleged event taking place. The loose use of “witness” to include what is basically a) a person who simply comes to believe the allegation and is/was in a position near to the allegation in time and place or b) a person who ‘saw’ what might well have been mimicked-symptoms and was thus technically a witness only to that (possible) mimicry and not to the alleged event itself … this is not the accurate deployment of the term “witness”.


    However this real conceptual distinction works out in any specific case is not anything we can work-through satisfactorily on the internet.


    And in the heyday of the Stampede, and as a vital consequence and element of the Stampede, this distinction was often ignored. And as matters now rebound – at least somewhat – from that era of derangement, I hope that we shall see this distinction restored to the discourse.

  5. Julie says:

    You get such sour grapes Jim, when Catholics are treated fairly.

  6. Charlene says:

    Good for the Chicago Tribune! I knew that somewhere in these United States there had to be a newspaper of principal and integrity! And here it is right under our noses.  Hopefully it will be the standard bearer and show other media that mud-slinging is NOT the answer, and certainly not the answer when there is NO proof. Thank you, Chicago Tribune!

  7. jim robertson says:

    That's right I'm the problem, Personalize your mistakes on me, great. I must remind myself that from your behavior, it's the victims who are the problem in all of this not the abusors or their enablers. Interesting stance.

      Oh and that's right this is out of Chicago. Catholic beyond belief, more power and wealth than any Catholic save the very top knows.  Who's the largest land owner of downtown Chicago? Why it's the friendly corporate church. Friendly to all but the victim.

    This is the Chicago of Cardinal George, the man (along with a few good and expensive PR firms) who I believe is the brains behind the SNAP fraud.

    So when a Chicago, thee Chicago, paper let's loose one of it's war dogs, I am in no ways surprised nor fooled. I know who owns that dog.

  8. jim robertson says:

    Aren't you judging me? And since your the guys that hang around with and who enable criminals to commit  these crimes; Aren't you really coconspirators( I only say this because of the small percentage of fake claims)

    You should  be judged by somebody, public opinion the system, somebody. 

    You're sure not policing yourselves regarding the already harmed. The real NAMBLA, percentile wise seems to be you.

  9. jim robertson says:

    Walter, forgiveness can only come when the oppressor,

    A) stops oppressing and B) admits what wrong has been done. That's called Justice.

    I felt an attempt at empathy there Walter; and though it's putting the cart before the horse. I will credityour attempt to be good hearted.

  10. Herb says:

    Jim,  That you believe allegations that are decades old raised by adults are true beyond question, without evidence, guilty-until-proven-innocent makes you a self-reighteous co-conspirator with the opportunists who are taking advantage the foolish Bishops for the $100 milliions in ask-no-questions selttlements. The Catholic heirarchy has abdicated their moral authority to public relations consultants, insurance advisors and defense lawyers. Until the Church faces these claims in a court of law justice due victims and clergy will not be served.

    • jim robertson says:

      Martha, could you please tell me how many victims shared that $3 billion? No body knows. Do you? If the U.S. alone has over 100,000 victims, if it divided that money equally would be $ 3000 per victim.( I think. Math isn't my forte).

      You keep presuming, sans evidence, that we victims have no evidence. Well prove that, please.

      Also Herb, if you think your Bishops are "foolish" then fire them. Please.

      Your corporate Church will never allow these cases to go to court. Look how the collections, the donations, have fallen off since this scandal began. If you heard our evidence, our experiences with these religious joy boys, the hierarchs know it would seal their fates.

      Quit holding on to ancient myths , much older than any living victims claims, so that you might believe your corporate Church is spotless. It's a sham.

  11. Delphin says:

    As it is in the Muslim community, until the moderates (good Muslims) engage their radicalized Islamist elements, those deviant, militant crimes against humanity will continue- so goes it in the homosexual community. The good homosexuals will need to rise up against the putrid molesting festering elements in their community, wherever they commit their sins, and provide the solutions for their communities blight on society. Our accomodating society, founded on Christian principles,  couldn't rush fast enough into special legislation to protect, and in many states, encourage the LGBT agenda, perhaps the LBGT platform might include addressing this blight on humanity from within their community.

    The Catholic Church problem isnt a problem of Catholics or Priests, anymore than it is a problem of caucasians of Italian, Irish, German or Polish descent. It isn't a heterosexual male problem- it is a problem of practicing deviant militant homosexuals. Until we correctly identify the problem, we can't fix it.

    • jim robertson says:

      Here's the LBGT agenda…………………………….. There is none.

      We are winning equality state by state, country by country and there's nothing you can do about it. Your era is over.

  12. LearnedCounsel says:

    Roman catholic clergy are in theory nonpracticing strident militant heterosexuals.

  13. dennis ecker says:

    That's fine. I speak for myself but I believe no survivor wants to see any innocent individual have their life turned upside down for no reason


    The same people who agree with what the tribune has down MUST also agree on what the Philadelphia Inquirer has done by not running the factless piece by Bill Donahue.

    You can't have it both ways.


  14. Lou says:

    Let me just say it is about time.

  15. Delphin says:

    Worry less about the non-offending hetero priests and more about your deviant, militant homosexual offenders putrifying all segments of decent society.


  16. jim robertson says:

    Honey if you are decent society, count be out.

  17. Delphin says:

    Explains pretty well how we got to where we are in the US. We can look forward to the PC (lefty)-infiltrated APA declassifying pedophaelia (therefore, decriminilizing it), per the B4U-Act lobby. Wonder if they''ll make exemptions for Catholics?

  18. LearnedCounsel says:

    Homosexuality is just another form of love. Homosexuality is not the problem in the sex abuse scandal, in fact, homosexuality is not a problem. The roman catholic church thinks and teaches that homosexuals are "disordered." What Dolphin has written here is seriously disordered thinking.

  19. Delphin says:

    Natural Law, nature her very self, the god all lefties idolize, dictates order vs. disorder (normal vs. abnormal). A subset of the human population whose rare sexual behavior flickers between 2% and 3.5% (at best) of the total population over the course of recorded time is hardly to be considered a norm. It is an anomoly. Any behavior that is not self-sustaining/propogating (use your beloved Darwinian [theoretical] principles here, if you please), is not ordered, therefore it is disordered, hence it is abnormal.

    Homosexuality has nothing to do with love, but, it has everything to do with selfish lust. Lust is just sex. Sex has nothing to do with love and love has nothing to do with sex. Each exist completely independent of the other. Only Sacramental marriage (the boy-girl kind) accomplishes the prolonged love-sex merge for the sustainment of the family, and the propogation of the species. That is also true in nature (sans the Sacramental component).

    And, in spite of the fact that homosexuality is a human disorder, as has been established by nature, my Church and my God still loves homosexuals. All He asks of homosexuals, and the rest of humanity, is to repent and sin no more -  so that all will be saved. Now, that's love.

    All humans sin. Why do homosexuals think they are exempt? Are they better than other sinners? Do they not have to abide by mans laws, either? Is that the goal – to exempt homosexuals from any laws, morals, ethics; God's, man's or nature's? Has your relativism taken us that far afield? No rules, absolute standards, right, wrong – total hedonism. Nice world you've got there.

    Deviant, militant homosexuals, in and out of my Church, commit the crimes the cause the minor abuse problem that still permeates American society in most areas outside of the Church. That is a fact. The Church has more than sufficiently addressed her deviant, militant homosexual problem. That is a fact. The minor abuse crisis (and actual pedophelia) still afflicts other non-secular and secular segments of society -ours and the worlds. In other non-western (non Judeo-Christian) nations, minor abuse and pedophelia are culturally and socially acceptable- does that offend you?

    Again, for the easily distracted (oh, look, butterfly over there…), Nature dictates norms.  I guess you really can't fool Mother Nature.

  20. jim robertson says:

    Repent and ye will be saved that aint love it's a threat.

    Like God's saying sorry guys but you didn't obey part of the rules of a backward Northern African Tribe, the Isralites, so you've condemned your self to the Hell I ,God, invented for you. Your God is really the boogy man.

    That's no God of Love, that's no God of Goodness, that's a torturer. love me or burn.

    Do you ever think about what you say you believe?

  21. Delphin says:

    I believe in nature and science, as so ordered by God. I fall within the norm in America. Instead of attacking God, the dialogue must address the illness that infects a subpart of humanity, namely, deviant, militant homosexuals.

    I noticed you didnt attack Nature, your god.

    Solve the problem of your community's deviant, militant homosexuals preying on minors.

    The solution to this blight on humaity resides with you. Clean your house.



  22. Learned Counsel says:

    White noise.

    • jim robertson says:

      Explaining flaws in your reasoning isn't attacking God, in my opinion, especially when I don't believe in God. I'm showing you the contradictions in your own rational that's it.

      And who says your God needs any defending by you? You've decided to defend the penultimate power in the universe? Why?  He doesn't need you to pipe in about anything you go on about.

  23. Delphin says:

    The Great and Powerful Wizard of Hahvad has apparently spoken.



  24. Delphin says:

    I believe, as is fact, that deviant militant homosexuals are preying on minors in every segment of society, in the US, and throughout the world. How will the LGBT lobby resolve their communities crimes against nature in the US, and worldwide?

  25. Delphin says:

    Self-appointed "reasoning flaw god"?  More than 96% of the worlds population has flawed reasoning about the laws of nature, and the laws of God?  It is the Truth that when one does not worship the true God, one worships oneself. That happens to also be the LGBT mantra.

    No flawed rationale, or stats,  when it comes to identifying the culprits behind the minor abuse crisis (both perpetrators and exploiters). The crisis is driven by deviant, militant homosexuals, and their political and idealogical supporters.


    • jim robertson says:

      96% are wrong and lucky you wound up in the 4% who are right. Brava! What extraordinary good fortune for you.

      O.K. so what? Now are we all supposed to obey you and the people you obey?

      You keep rattling on about "deviant militant homosexuals" in your Church.

      Militant? Do they have weapons of mass destruction? I've never seen them in a gay pride parade.  Or do they only wear their uniforms when delivering sermons?

      You really live in a very frightened place. So many bad people out to harm you. I'm so sorry you're so frightened.

      Now let's have you pretend you're not.

      Why don't you take a few deep breaths calm yourself and really look at the things you are saying.

      Some how, in the only true faith, a demon has entered and is a deviant militant homosexual,(s) ( generic or are they a named brand?) And they are the ones causing the one true faith and it's one true God all this tsuris(yiddish for trouble) I get it. You've said it enough as far as i'm concerned but please continue. Now all these deviant militant homosexuals are priests? They went through all that training through the celebration of the mass; the consecration all the while deviant and millitant.

      Well you've convinced me. I'll help you in any way I can to rid your Church of such deviants. Where shall we start? Benedict/Ratzinger is pretty fem, those Gucci slippers were a dead give away. Shall we start with him?

      What kind of test shall we have?. Water? Fire? Moles or Birthmarks? What do you suggest. How can we tell who's good and who's bad? If these deviants are so militant maybe we can capture them when they're marching in formation some where?

      I wait for your insights and orders my leader.

  26. jim robertson says:

    And if God is making or allowing all this t chicanery to go on in the one true Church then all of the others must be in deep spiritual doo doo, just as you say. Makes complete sense to me

    just one thing.

    America's the country that keeps killing people, this big old bad ass Christian land/ country just keeps on killing people.

    With all it's religiosity, all it's God love, it's still out there and still killing people on both sides. Where's " Love your neighbor as you love yourself" in all of that slaughter?Is that how you love yourself by killing others?

  27. Delphin says:

    "Somebody" is in need of a dictionary, calculator… and a sedative.

    Memorial Day greetings to our beloved and brave soldiers, vets and their families.

    Good Night, Gracie-

  28. jim robertson says:

    Well "somebody" if you need a dictionary and calculator and sedative get them.

  29. Delphin says:

    Isn't it interesting that the (deviant, militant) homosexual sex abuse of minors problem appears to be a media-driven problem only in those countries (US varies between 16-18) with a higher age of consent and where the radical homosexual agenda is being adopted (their way of saying thank you?)? The Catholic Church, being a universal entity, has many local laws (particularly barbaric in Asia and Africa), outside of its own Canon Law, with which to abide – one of the multitude would be the local age of consent laws.

    On the other hand, there are also many countries in which homosexuality is punishable by death, or outlawed.

    I wonder how the Catholic Church "abuse crisis" would have played out in those nations- would the Church have been expected to trump it's Canon Law in deference to the local laws and hand over the homosexual priest culprit for execution?  If this problem is such a moral crisis for the Church (again, a universal organization), is that true universally or just locally, depending upon the morals (or greed or political ideaology) of the local culture?

    Just asking.


  30. jim robertson says:

    Yea, sure, whatever you say.

    Please see what Cardinal Pell of Australia had to say about the Church's behavior as he testifies under oath.

    How do you reconcile Cardinal Pell's testimony to your circle the wagons construct?

    It's not about the abuse it's about the cover up.

    • jim robertson says:

      P.S. And you won't have to wonder about the Church in other lands. If the Catholic Church is there then there's been coverups of minors abused. It's happened in every Catholic country so far and in some that aren't predominately Catholic.

      I'm not making this stuff up! Show me a country that the Church didn't cover up in.

      You can't. Congratulations you should be proud (irony).

  31. Delphin says:

    You mean those churches in nations where the age of consent (for homosexuals to enagage in sex with adolescents, providing homosexuality is legal) is as low as "puberty", or do you mean those churces in nations where homosexuality is "celebrated", such as the US and Australia- where the lessons of "mass settlement", Judas Priests and PC, especally as pertains to leftists principles, reign?

    It isn't about cover-up for any of the Church bashers, as has been proved on this site, and plenty more, it is only about the tenets of Catholicism that depicts their selfish and unnatural lifestyles as such (sinful), and the lefties (and their deviant, radical buddies) hatred of conservatism, the norm and their own self-serving practice of redistribution of others peoples money (you call it wealth), wherever it may be found. It's the Al Sharptopn principle.

    Really fellas, just get a job, already – it is good for the "soul". Al did it, he's "working" on the washed-up lefties welfare channel, MSNBC.

  32. jim robertson says:

    The "norm"? "Get a job"? ( Sha na na na shana nana na nah). What's  "Judas Priests" a '60's rock band? I really don't know what your talking about, most of the time. Not because I'm stupid but because you're nuts.

    "Hatred of conservatism"? The left didn't want the invasion of Iraq you did.

    How many trillions of dollars did you "conserve " with that war?

    You "conserve" the planet by destroying it through unregulated exploitation?

    And thanks to your conservative elimination of regulations regarding the entire banking and credit system, you've managed to "conserve" what ,in regards to the average American's possibility of getting a life supporting job?

    Delpinium, How much wealth do you have personally? Really I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

    I think you're a little older lady, or a woman very near retirement or someone who can't retire because she doesn't , even after decades of loyalty to the right, have enough money to retire on. And since you never take responsability for what you do (the right would have you blame yourself for your lack of accumulated gelt) and you can't do that so you blame everybody else.

    Can't you hear that loud sucking sound? It's all the wealth being redistributed systemically to the 1%. Are you one of the 1%?

    Are you on, do you plan to be on social security or medicare?

    Or are those programs too socialistic for you?

    Even Ayn Rand used those programs but you are probably much stronger than her in your commitment to anti redistribution of wealth.

    A wealth created by all the people that only benefits an already well endowed 1% and "distributed" to the super rich at the physical and financial detriment of the 99%.

    Who are you telling to get a job, Missy? What makes you think we don't  or haven't had jobs?

  33. dennis ecker says:


    You make it so obvious who truly needs that dictionary ! Look up the words homosexual and pedophile, then you tell me what best describes a catholic priest.

  34. says:

    Thank you for your comments, everyone.

    We are closing this thread for now.

  35. malcolm harris says:

    It seems that Cardinal Pell, of Australia, has now become an target for JR.

    Personally I was impressed by Pell's reasoned answers, during four hours of questioning.  Compared to many American bigshots, who plead 'the fifth amendment' when called before  a parliamentary enquiry. Cardinal Pell was a model witness, compared with those I have seen on news reports from your country. Because he did not hide behind any legal ploy, and answered like a honest and co-operative witness. But JR asserts that the cover-up is actually worst than the original abuse. Really? But how does he know the extent of the original abuse?

    Does he really believe that a self-described victim must always be truthful? Given that they have a obvious financial motive for invention and exageration? Even a basic understanding of human nature should tell us that this would almost certainly be exagerated out of all proportion. Just to get hold of the easy money.  One lawyer said it was as easy as getting money from an ATM. 

    About 12 months ago Cardinal Pell said on T.V.  ' those who have a accusation against any of our priests should go to the police and make a formal complaint'

      In others words he was saying that those who accuse anybody of criminal behaviour should follow through and use the criminal justice system. Not just condemn behind the cloak of anonymity in that merciless court of public opinion.

    For this he was roundly attacked by many journalists. Saying he was 'insensitive'  In other words they are saying that alleged crimes against children should not be reported to police?? How very odd!!

     What tangled webs they weave….