Rev. John Smyth, the executive director of Maryville Youth Center in Des Plaines is at the center of a controversy with Governor Blagojevich, Chicago Archdiocese’s Cardinal Francis George, and a group of troubled young people who live at the center. Gov. Blagojevich, heeding the counsel of his new Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) head Bryan Samuels, recently announced that the center would be temporarily closed until the DCFS was assured that all complaints with the center were corrected.

On Monday, September 22, 2003, just before almost 2,000 people rallied at the center in support of Father Smyth and the center, Karl Maurer was able to speak with Father Smyth, and the transcript of that discussion was published in the Illinois Leader. [See “Father Smyth Speaks Out“] and is also presented below.