Pastor Resigns amid Abuse Probe
Bernardin accepts his offer to leave West Side post

By Michael Hirsley
Chicago Tribune
September 28, 1993

Rev. Thomas O'Gorman has resigned as pastor of the West Side Roman Catholic parish from which he was removed a year ago due to allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor.

The pastor's resignation was accepted by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, effective Friday. But, the archdiocese indicated, internal and outside investigations of the allegations will continue. O'Gorman remains on administrative leave under archdiocesan supervision pending completion of the investigations.

In a letter read to parishioners during weekend masses at St. Malachy Catholic Church, 2248 W. Washington Blvd., Bernardin wrote that he appreciated this was a "very difficult decision" for O'Gorman, and one that he made out of "respect and love" for his former parishioners.

The cardinal wrote that O'Gorman's decision was made so the parish could have "more permanent pastoral leadership," said Rev. Michael Bradley, who has led the parish as full-time temporary administrator since January.

Bradley, who read the cardinal's letter to parishioners, said O'Gorman had told him in recent conversations that he was considering resigning in the interest of stability.

Bernardin has not indicated that he favors Bradley or anyone else to succeed O'Gorman as pastor. But the resignation enables the process of picking a pastor to be initiated by the priests' placement board, according to an archdiocesan spokesperson.

O'Gorman was popular in his West Side parish as a religious and community leader. He was active in campaigns to restore a bus line, to remove a lottery billboard that he said targeted poor people who couldn't afford to gamble, and to get community benefits in conjunction with the construction of the United Center across from Chicago Stadium.

In addition to its 150 member-families, St. Malachy parish operates a school for 245 pre-school through 8th grade pupils, many of them non-Catholics, Bradley said.

Also, he said, the parish, feeds 200 people a day at a mid-morning meal in its soup kitchen, serves 1,000 people a month from its food pantry, and offers housing to women and children in its shelter, operated in conjunction with nuns from the Missionaries of Charity.


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