New Accusations against Father McCormack|
Cardinal George Meets with Parents
By Tean Coverage
ABC 7 [Chicago IL]
January 30, 2006
January 30, 2006 - Francis Cardinal George met Monday night with parishioners of the church where a priest accused of sexual abuse worked. Father Daniel McCormack is charged with sexually assaulting two children, and now there are new allegations against him.
The Chicago priest is already charged with two counts of criminal sexual abuse. These new accusations were made public Monday by the boy's lawyer, Jeff Anderson. Anderson is well known for representing victims of sexual abuse by priests.
Anderson has filed a report with the police and state attorney's office but apparently has not contacted the archdiocese. The archdiocese says until that happens, and until they get more information from police, they will not comment on the specific abuse allegations.
"He's hurting and scared," said Anderson.
Attorney Jeff Anderson is talking about his latest client, a boy who says he was also abused by Father Dan McCormack. The latest allegation against the priest came to light after the boy told his mother about the abuse this past weekend.
"This boy came forward and had the courage to do that, because they were able to see the publicity that has come forward in the last week that they weren't alone and that they weren't the only ones that this had happened to," Anderson said.
Anderson will not say if the alleged abuse occurred at Father McCormack's most recent church, St. Agatha's, but the boy was under 12 when the abuse occurred within the past two years.
The boy's mother wrote a letter saying, "My son is hurting now, but he told us Father Dan has hurt him more than one time."
Anderson spent the past 20 years representing victims of clergy sex abuse cases.
"They feel a great deal of alarm and deep disappointment. It's the efforts we made and have been trying to make for years with this archdiocese, bringing us to this point in time," said Anderson.
This past weekend, Cardinal Francis George publicly responded to the criminal charges against the priest. The cardinal admitted that the archdiocese failed in certain instances to respond adequately.
Monday night, Members of the priest support group SNAP handed out flyers to parishioners at St. Agatha Catholic Chuch Monday night. They had questions for Francis George, who went before an angry parish, after Father Dan McCormack was charged last week with two counts of criminal sexual abuse.
Inside the church, the cardinal was peppered with pointed questions and criticism. He repeatedly said the archdiocese didn't know about the allegations until recently, but admitted he was disappointed in his own actions.
"We didn't supervise. We felt we didn't have any information. We didn't have information. We didn't have a name. So we couldn't go through the usual process. In place of that, we were restrictive and supervised and the supervision was inadequate," said Cardinal Francis George.
Afterwards, parents of the school children expressed admiration for the cardinal's presence but dissatisfaction with his answers.
"I don't think that things were taken accordingly. I think they should have been taken much more seriously," said Tara Rice, parent.
"I guess I wanted to hear a clear answer on why Father Dan McCormack was actually still at the school," said Frank Hartley, parent.
Perhaps most troubling for the cardinal was his comment Monday night that he believes there will be even more allegations forthcoming from other potential victims.
That meeting with parishioners and Cardinal George is closed to the media. Parents say they have plenty of questions and Cardinal George says he's just going to listen.
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