Priest accused of child sex abuse AWOL from religious order


By Tal Axelrod

December 29, 2018

The former president of an Illinois Catholic high school who is under investigation for allegations of sexually abusing a male student in the 1990s is missing from the Augustinian order to which he belongs, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Sister Mary Ann Hamer, assistant treasurer for the Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel, which operates Providence Catholic High School, told the Tribune Friday that Rev. Richard McGrath, 72, was “absent without leave” after having moved out of the St. John Stone Friary. Hamer added that he had left in the last couple of months on his own accord.

But Rev. Anthony B. Pizzo, prior provincial of the Midwest Augustinians, sent a statement to the Tribune Friday that McGrath was “illegitimately” absent, which means he is no longer affiliated with the Augustinian order. While he remains a priest, he lacks the canonical authority to fulfill a priest’s duties.

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