Willow Creek Protestant Megachurch Paid $3.25M in Lawsuits Over Sex Abuse of Disabled Boys

by Steve Ray on August 16, 2018

If you don’t like this post, or think I’m pointing fingers, then read below under the line of asterisks *******

By Stoyan Zaimov

“Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois reportedly paid $3.5 million in lawsuits over the sex abuse of two developmentally disabled boys.

The evangelical megachurch, which recently saw its entire elders board resign over unrelated accusations that former lead pastor Bill Hybels sexually abused women, made the payments in the lawsuits over several years, court records obtained by The Chicago Tribune show.

One payment of $1.75 million was apparently made into n February, while another one of $1.5 million was made last year.

Former Willow Creek volunteer Robert Sobczak Jr., now 24, pled guilty in 2014 of abusing an 8-year-old with special needs at the church, alongside an older boy not connected with the church. A year earlier, he admitted to sexually abusing another disabled boy at the church, believed to have been 9 years old.

Willow Creek said that the experience was “heartbreaking,” and insisted that it has made changes….”

For the whole article, click here.

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Because several people misunderstood my reason for posting this thinking I was pointing fingers, I will explain why I posted it.

Catholics need to realize that this is not a Catholic-only issue. It is a human issue and actually worse in Protestant churches, among the rabbis and even worse in public schools.

I come from the Protestant world. I have every right to comment on it because I experienced it. I have a close relative who at 12 years old was sodomized by a married Baptist deacon. I could multiply the stories…

I am not in anyway pointing fingers but reporting the news and helping people understand the bigger picture. I don’t want Catholics to leave the Catholic Church to join a Protestant group thinking they’re going to solve the problem by doing that or that the problem is due to a celibate priesthood.

So if you don’t like my article, don’t read it. But for those who think it’s a Catholic-only problem, it may help them understand the bigger picture. I have lived in both worlds and I love being a Catholic.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Deacon Ken August 16, 2018 at 7:20 PM

Thank you for writing this. It is a widespread problem and not just catholic. It is a global problem of evil and temptation. I'm concerned we will again say it was just bad McCarrick and miss the wider problem hiding in plain sight. Our problem is that the bishops have lost credibility. When Cardinal Ferrell or Cardinal Wuerl say they didn't know, no one believes them.
Unless the USCCB gets an outside group to investigate and expose the whole mess, the government will come do it for them. I'm thinking Pennsylvania was just the first. And this will go global like the government investigations in Chile.
If the Bishops want to retain any power and moral authority, they have to make sweeping investigation and changes.

Steve Ray here: Bravo Deacon Ken. Couldn’t agree with you more. God bless you and keep up the good work and stay vocal!

Dan LaCross August 16, 2018 at 8:17 PM

It would be nice if the news media gave equal exposure to all of these incidents, but they seem fixated on the Catholic Church. And unless I miss my guess, it is more of a problem within families than it is in the Catholic Church. I’m a convert myself since the early 70’s. But I do have to say that it has only been in the past couple of years since passing the age of 70 that I have taken a serious interest in my Catholic faith. I simply had to have reason to believe what I believed. Now that I have looked at it seriously, and am finally understanding my faith, I would never leave the church. Those that have disgraced the Catholic church
are not the church.” Jesus Christ “is the church.”

Tom Govern August 16, 2018 at 10:25 PM

All institutions that deal with peoples lives have problems, especially churches, boy scouts, aid agencies. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church is one of the biggest targets for reporting. It should be the least likely to have a problem given that its priests are the best trained and prepare. Well maybe. I think that much of the issues today are the result of poor vetting of candidates. While we need many more candidates for the priesthood, we need to make sure they are the best.

Steve Ray here: AMEN TOM! You hit the nail on the head!

Deena Pages August 17, 2018 at 2:47 AM

The gates of Hell shall not prevail my Church. Thank you Steve Ray, This is In defence to the attacks of our Church. We shall not judge them either.

Johann du Toit August 18, 2018 at 1:35 PM

As a former Protestant I concur with this.

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