Priest in sex-abuse probe to move away from Catholic grade school amid furor

Chicago Sun Times

September 21, 2018

By Robert Herguth

When a student reported last year that she had seen an image of a naked boy on the Rev. Richard McGrath’s cellphone, the priest, who was president of Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, was asked by the school and the police to hand over the phone.

McGrath refused, which officials say effectively killed an investigation by the police. Their focus later turned to accusations that the priest sexually abused another student at the far southwest suburban school in the 1990s — allegations that Will County prosecutors are reviewing and which also are the subject of a lawsuit by that former student.

McGrath, 71, was removed from Providence after the initial allegations surfaced in December. Since then, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned, he moved to the St. John Stone Friary, a four-story monastery in Hyde Park run by the Augustinian order of priests that’s across an alley from a preschool and around the corner from a Catholic grade school.

The Archdiocese of Chicago, the Catholic church’s arm in Cook and Lake counties, says it was informed McGrath had moved to the South Side building. But it didn’t notify the preschool operator or its own St. Thomas the Apostle grade school.

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