June 15, 2021
By Maggie Prosser
The Archdiocese of Chicago returned the Rev. Daniel McCarthy to his Norwood Park parish after an investigation found “insufficient reason to suspect” allegations of sexual abuse of a child were true, Cardinal Blase Cupich told parishioners in a letter Monday.
McCarthy was removed from his post as pastor emeritus at St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish, 6020 W. Ardmore Ave., after he was accused of committing sexual abuse about 50 years ago while assigned to the now-closed Angel Guardian Orphanage in Chicago’s West Rogers Park neighborhood, according to the archdiocese.
In a letter sent Monday to the St. Elizabeth of the Trinity community, Cupich said McCarthy was reinstated “effective immediately” after the archdiocesan board’s investigation into allegations concluded.
“The Review Board has concluded that there is insufficient reason to suspect Father McCarthy is guilty of these allegations,” Cupich said.
The archdiocese asked McCarthy to live away from the parish while the allegations were investigated by the internal Office for the Protection of Children and Youth. McCarthy was also removed from his chaplain posts at Notre Dame College Prep and Resurrection College Prep High School. Information on whether he was reinstated in those posts wasn’t available. A spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services declined to comment on the investigation, but said that under its policies, the department was unable to make a finding in the case because there was no child involved.
St. Elizabeth of the Trinity said in a posting on its website that the parish welcomes “Father McCarthy back with open arms.”
“This coming weekend, as we celebrate Father’s Day and honor all of those who have been fathers to us, I know that Father McCarthy will have a special place in your prayers and fond thoughts as you thank God for many gifts,” Cupich said in the reinstatement letter.
McCarthy’s reinstatement comes just after the Rev. Michael Pfleger returned to the pulpit at his South Side parish after the archdiocese similarly cleared the pastor of sexual abuse allegations.Maggie ProsserChicago TribuneCONTACT
Maggie Prosser is a metro intern. She is a recent graduate of Ohio University, where she studied journalism and political science. Maggie previously interned with The Columbus Dispatch, the Ohio Capital Journal and The Chautauquan Daily. Find her on Twitter @ProsserMaggie.