April 02, 2006

Accused priest was rising star

Chicago Tribune

By Margaret Ramirez and Russell Working
Tribune staff reporters
Published April 2, 2006

Called to the priesthood as an Irish-Catholic boy, Rev. Daniel McCormack followed a path that led him into the heart of the African-American community. He learned to preach as few Roman Catholic priests could, firing up the faithful in the rolling cadences of a black Baptist clergyman.

He called on his flock to love God as passionately as a South Sider loves the White Sox. But away from the pulpit, he was an introvert, often perceived as painfully shy, even uncomfortable, in conversation.

To many, he was a devoted white priest who ministered to suffering neighborhoods and was moved by the passion of African-American culture. As pastor of St. Agatha in Chicago for six years, he was forceful in his denunciations of violence and prayerful in his late-night visits to the emergency room to comfort victims of gunfire.

Yet he now stands accused of betraying the trust he had earned, by sexually abusing three boys at his parish.

Posted by kshaw at April 2, 2006 09:17 AM