S.W. Side Priest Is Accused of Sex Misconduct

By Leon Pitt
Chicago Sun-Times
April 25, 1996

The pastor of a Southwest Side Roman Catholic church has been removed from his post amid allegations of sexual misconduct with minors, the Archdiocese of Chicago said Wednesday.

The Rev. James C. Hagan, pastor of St. Denis Parish, 8301 S. St. Louis, was placed on administrative leave pending further investigation, said Archdiocesan spokesman Bob Quakenbush.

Quakenbush said the charges were made in the last week by men now in their 20s. The allegations date back to when Hagan was an associate pastor at St. Richard Parish, 5032 S. Kostner, from 1981 to 1986.

More than one accuser is involved, but church officials would not be more specific.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County state's attorney's office has been notified, he said.

The allegations against Hagan came as a surprise to his parishioners. "That's a lot of baloney, I have two grandchildren who are servers -- he would never hurt any child -- he's not that kind of person," said Mary Galvan, a member of the parish.

A spokesman for the state's attorney's office said the allegations were being reviewed and that neither Hagan nor the complainants had been interviewed yet.

Authorities said charges may never be brought because of the time that has elapsed since the alleged misconduct.

The Rev. Bill Tkachuk, associate pastor, has been named temporary administrator for the parish.


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