West Side Pastor Faces Allegation

By Jerry Thornton
Chicago Tribune
September 1, 1992

A West Side priest has been removed from parish duty pending an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct, the Chicago Roman Catholic Archdiocese said.

Rev. Thomas J. O'Gorman, pastor of St. Malachy Church, is the 21st local priest to be investigated for sexual misconduct in the last year, according to the archdiocese.

O'Gorman was placed on administrative leave Aug. 10 by the archdiocese following an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor, archdiocesan spokesman Robert Quakenbush said Monday.

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office is investigating the allegation, said spokesman Andy Knott. Neither he nor Quakenbush would give more details.

"The allegation involves a minor, but I can't say more because of confidentiality," Quakenbush said.

Rev. John J. McDonnell was appointed temporary administrator of St. Malachy, 2248 W. Washington Blvd., Quakenbush said.

O'Gorman, a member of the Interfaith Organizing Project that won a long battle for better terms in the construction of a new Chicago Stadium, is known for his involvement in community causes. He was an active anti-stadium demonstrator when its construction was announced.

In 1986, he began a campaign against the Illinois State Lottery, calling it a system "that preys on the poor with its get-rich-quick schemes." The priest protested a lottery billboard ad across the street from his parish school. Lottery officials eventually ordered the ad removed. O'Gorman said then that legislators should set up a panel to study ways to protect the poor from the lottery.

Ordained in 1977, O'Gorman has ministered at St. Malachy since June 1983 and was appointed pastor in January 1986.

Reading from a statement dated Aug. 25, Quakenbush said Monday: "According to archdiocesan procedure, the archdiocese placed Father O'Gorman on administrative leave immediately after the allegation was reported to the archdiocese Vicar for Priests office. The allegation was promptly reported to the Department of Children and Family Services."

"Father O'Gorman will remain on administrative leave under archdiocese supervision pending the outcome of official investigations and the archdiocese investigation."


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