Mission, City Reach Settlement

Attorney Says Mission Is Pleased By Settlement

WMAQ TV, Chicago/April 7, 2006

Chicago -- City officials and the Love Holy Trinity Blessed Mission have come to a settlement over property on the Northwest Side, NBC5 reported on Friday.

The city filed a lawsuit alleging improper use of the building as a church, and the mission has agreed to make the necessary changes to the property.

Last November, Unit 5 reported that the mission attracted members like Ashley Fahey, who turned down a college scholarship and has not spoken to her mother or siblings since moving to Chicago.

While critics charge people have been recruited to stay against their will, the mission's attorney said that is not true.

"They're free to do whatever they want to do," said the mission's attorney, John Klytta. "So, that's all I can say, really. I don't know where all of this stuff comes from to be honest with you, but we're very happy to settle our matter with the city.

Since the report, Cardinal Francis George has suspended the priest who had been assigned to the group and announced that the mission is not sanctioned by the Catholic Church.

"This is not approved by the Catholic Church," said mission critic Donna Backstrom. "So, as far as growing, they're not growing -- we know that for a fact. They continue to meet, but in smaller groups, that kind of thing."

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