January 29, 2006

Cardinal: Process `failed' in abuse case

Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear, Tribune staff reporter. Tribune staff reporter Andrew Wang contributed to this report
Published January 29, 2006

Cardinal Francis George said the process for protecting children from abuse fell apart when allegations first surfaced against Rev. Daniel McCormack in 2000, enabling the priest to stay behind the pulpit for too long.

"I think we failed in certain instances to respond adequately," George said at a news conference Saturday. "I think there are reasons why we did. It wasn't ill will. There was certainly no cover-up on our part. ... We didn't find out enough. We didn't find out quickly enough."

George put the blame on people who did not follow protocol in 2000 and on other procedures that prevented the archdiocese from removing McCormack from ministry.

"Each time you hope it's not true. And more often than not it turns out to be true," George said. "In this case the process couldn't work."

George intends to ask America's Catholic bishops to revise the 2002 guidelines on handling sex-abuse allegations, which did not address cases when victims or their families bypass church authorities and report only to law-enforcement agencies.

Posted by kshaw at January 29, 2006 06:19 AM