January 24, 2006

Despite accusation, priest kept his job

Chicago Tribune

By Jeff Coen and Charles Sheehan, Tribune staff reporter. Tribune staff reporter David Heinzmann and religion reporter Margaret Ramirez contributed to this report

Published January 24, 2006

The Chicago Catholic Archdiocese learned in August of a sexual abuse allegation against a West Side priest and assigned another priest to monitor his contact with children, but it allowed him to remain at his parish until last week, church officials said.

The family making the accusation alerted the archdiocese, which then turned the allegation against Rev. Daniel J. McCormack over to the Cook County state's attorney's office, according to law enforcement sources. Investigators could not find enough evidence to file charges until last week, when a second child came forward with a separate allegation, authorities said.

In the intervening four months, church officials allowed McCormack to continue running the parish.

According to church guidelines, the archdiocese could have removed McCormack from ministry while the case was investigated, but the church officials decided that was not necessary, said Archdiocese Chancellor James Lago.

Posted by kshaw at January 24, 2006 07:29 AM