Archdiocese Removes 2nd Priest

Chicago Tribune
Februrary 2, 2006

New child abuse charges have been filed against a Chicago priest arrested last month, and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has removed a second priest from public ministry, officials said Wednesday.

Rev. Daniel McCormack was in custody late Wednesday after prosecutors filed a third count of aggravated sexual abuse against him, authorities said. The action comes 11 days after McCormack was charged with molesting two boys.

McCormack is scheduled to appear in court Thursday, Cook County State's Attorney spokesman John Gorman said. He gave no other details about the charges.

Authorities also are investigating allegations of sexual abuse against Rev. Joe Bennett, officials for the nation's third-largest Roman Catholic archdiocese said.

Incidents involving Bennett allegedly took place more than 35 years ago and involved more than one minor, archdiocese spokesman Jim Dwyer said.

Allegations against Bennett were first made "roughly two years ago," Dwyer said. No action was taken against the priest because "it's a very complicated case," Dwyer said.

Bennett had been at Holy Ghost Church in South Holland since 1997 until he was removed Tuesday, Dwyer said.

Critics of Cardinal Francis George said there was "no excuse" for him to wait two years to remove the priest.

"If they can't make an initial guess about credibility, they need to disclose the allegation and beg with witnesses and victims to come forward," said David Clohessy, the executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

The incidents allegedly occurred while Bennett was at St. John De La Salle Church, Dwyer said.

Authorities are investigating complaints related to the priest, but no arrests have been made, Chicago police spokeswoman Monique Bond said.


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