February 27, 2006

Cardinal stays course

Chicag Tribune

By Johnathon E. Briggs and Jamie Francisco
Tribune staff reporters
Published February 27, 2006

As they prepared Sunday for the season of Lent, area Catholics rebuffed a call by an advocacy group for Cardinal Francis George to resign in the wake of reports that he ignored a review board's advice to remove a priest accused of sexually abusing three boys.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, called for George's resignation Saturday after learning that a church-appointed review board made an informal recommendation that the Archdiocese of Chicago remove Rev. Daniel McCormack from St. Agatha Church on the West Side in October, about three months before McCormack's arrest in January on molestation charges.

Archdiocesan spokesman Jim Dwyer said that at the time George felt the review board's advice was "premature given the lack of firsthand information."

"He has said since then that we should have been more aggressive in getting firsthand information," said Dwyer, adding that the archdiocese has taken measures to improve its protocols. "[SNAP] has no authority to ask anybody to resign."

George, who presided over Sunday mass at St. Michael Archangel Church on the South Side, did not address the controversy. Instead, he focused parishioners on the meaning of Lent, a 40-day period of soul-searching and repentance that begins on Ash Wednesday.

Posted by kshaw at February 27, 2006 07:05 AM