April 30, 2006

For priest, abuse case hits home

Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear
Tribune staff reporter
Published April 30, 2006

On a recent Sunday, Rev. Michael Knotek asked parishioners in his Far South Side sanctuary to bow their heads and call to mind the greatest cross they had to bear.

As they obeyed, Knotek also hung his head and meditated on the burden he has carried for 31 years: the knowledge that his older brother was molested by a priest and his belief that his church tried to cover it up.

"If we're careful, by God's grace, that very cross becomes our salvation," said the pastor of St. John De La Salle Catholic Church, echoing the message of redemption that forms the foundation of the Christian faith.

For some priests in the Chicago archdiocese, the Roman collar has been a yoke in recent months as abuse allegations mount against their colleague, Rev. Daniel McCormack. But for Knotek, 49, the sorrow is amplified by anger over how the church, particularly the neighboring Diocese of Joliet, has treated his family.

Posted by kshaw at April 30, 2006 07:08 AM