Teacher Says Archdiocese Using Her in Abuse Case
West Side Principal Says Chicago Archdiocese Would Not Act on Abuse Tips
By Rafael Romo
December 19, 2006
Chicago The principal of a Catholic school is making some explosive allegations against the Archdiocese of Chicago.
CBS 2's Rafael Romo reports the allegations stem from a scandal involving a priest accused of abusing children.
I could not live with myself or look at those children straight in the eye if I didn't tell the truth.
The principal of the Lady of the Westside Catholic school says enough is enough.
"They didn't act! They did not act. They covered up, covered up, covered up. That was exactly what they did," said Barbara Westrick.
She's accusing the Archdiocese of Chicago of covering up the scandal surrounding Father Daniel McCormack, who was Westrick's boss.
The priest was arrested in January and faces charges of molesting three boys.
The archdiocese reprimanded the principal for allegedly not informing authorities about the abuse allegations, but she says they're using her as scapegoat.
"And they want to blame me when they knew, the Diocese knew, all along that this man in 1988 and 1992 and 2000 had people say that he was a pedophile," Westrick said..
Officials for the Archdiocese of Chicago declined CBS 2's request for an on-camera interview today, but in a written statement they talked again about the scandal.
The statement doesn't name Westrick specifically, but says that "certain personnel did not report information to the State Department of Children and Family Services…"
After the scandal exploded last fall, the archdiocese hired two consultants to determine why McCormack was not removed sooner.
But the principal says Cardinal Francis George himself was reluctant to act.
"After I said to him, after the first child, 'Cardinal, I know there will be more children.' Do you know what his response was? 'I suppose now they'll be coming out of the woodwork,'" Westrick said.
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.