Five accused priests appealing dismissals
Five priests accused of child sex abuse have refused orders to leave their positions in the Archdiosese of Chicago in the US.
They're challenging a June decision by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops declaring that "no priest or deacon who has abused a minor can remain in ministry" - essentially a so-called zero-tolerance policy.
The five are thought to be the only priests in the United States challenging similar dismissal orders. Three other priests in the Chicago Archdiocese who had either retired or resigned also were withdrawn from the ministry.
One of the accused priests - Fr John Calicott - admits to a sexual incident in 1976 with two teen-age boys. He and four others have appealed their dismissals to the Vatican.
"I'm very concerned that as a church the policy does not seem to revolve around forgiveness and redemption but rather around punishment and vengeance," Calicott said. "Not even around protecting kids as far as I can see."
Calicott said he has enough documentation to show that he is not a risk to children.
About 25 priests in the United States have been removed since the June 14 vote in Dallas, Texas, approving the new policy.
Archdiocese of Chicago: Chicago churches to review priest abuse cases (Daily Southtown)
11 Jul 2002