January 23, 2006

Church members defend priest accused of abuse

Daily Southtown

Monday, January 23, 2006

By Jim Ritter and Frank Main
Special to the Daily Southtown

Their pastor had just been accused of sexually abusing two boys, but on Sunday, members of St. Agatha Catholic Church still spoke highly of the Rev. Daniel McCormack.

"He's one of the best," said longtime parishioner Phyllis Lee. "I don't believe the allegations."

McCormack, 37, has been pastor since 2000. Parishioners called him an energetic and passionate priest who helped make St. Agatha an anchor of Chicago's Lawndale community.

St. Agatha, 3151 W. Douglas Blvd., runs a food pantry, feeds the homeless, attracts new housing, provides legal assistance and operates tutoring and afterschool programs.

"We can't throw out his good work," parishioner Derrick Strongs said.

Posted by kshaw at January 23, 2006 07:43 AM