February 16, 2006

Outsider to examine abuse cases

Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear
Tribune staff reporter
Published February 16, 2006

For the first time, the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has invited an outside consultant to probe its classified procedures for handling abuse claims to determine why Revs. Daniel McCormack and Joseph Bennett stayed in ministry for months or years while investigations of allegations against them stalled.

The archdiocese also announced Wednesday that it will now report all abuse allegations against priests to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, no matter how old the claims may be.

But church officials do not plan to eliminate the practice of allowing accused clergy to continue in ministry under monitoring. That will remain an option, they said, unless DCFS calls for the priest's immediate removal, an allegation is deemed credible or the archdiocese determines it is prudent to temporarily withdraw him.

The archdiocese has hired a separate inspector to examine the practice of monitoring and recommend who should be apprised when a priest is under the microscope.

Posted by kshaw at February 16, 2006 07:07 AM