March 21, 2006

Audit says archdiocese botched abuse inquiry

Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear and Margaret Ramirez
Tribune staff reporters
Published March 21, 2006

Outside auditors delivered a stinging critique of local Roman Catholic officials' handling of sex abuse allegations against Rev. Daniel McCormack, laying out multiple failures ranging from shoddy record-keeping and a profound lack of communication to inadequate monitoring policies that put children in danger.

One of the two reports released Monday evaluated the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago's procedures for monitoring priests accused of abusing minors and found they amount to little more than an "honor system." Accused priests report on their own activities, monitors are not well-trained or informed, and there are no consequences for clergy who do not cooperate, it found.

McCormack was able to take three minors on a trip to Minnesota last Labor Day weekend while the priest assigned to watch him was away from the rectory, according to the other report, which dealt specifically with his case. Prosecutors charged McCormack this year with sexually abusing three boys while serving as a pastor at St. Agatha parish and as a teacher and coach at Our Lady of the Westside Catholic School.

Posted by kshaw at March 21, 2006 07:13 AM