Chicago Archdiocese Removes Another Priest
New Charges in Chicago Priest Invest
By David Brummer
Associated Press, carried in Chicago Tribune
February 1, 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.
The 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 another priest, officials for the nation's third-largest Roman Catholic archdiocese said.
Incidents involving that priest were alleged to have taken place more than 35 years ago and involved more than one minor, archdiocese spokesman Jim Dwyer said.
Allegations against that priest were first made "roughly two years ago," Dwyer said. But no action was taken against the priest because "it's a very complicated case," Dwyer said.
That priest 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 from Holy Ghost Church.
"If they can't make an initial guess about credibility, they need to disclose the allegation and beg witnesses and victims to come forward," said David Clohessy, the executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
The allegation claim the incidents occurred while that priest was at St. John De La Salle Church in Chicago, Dwyer said.
Authorities are investigating complaints related to the priest, but no arrests have been made, Chicago police spokeswoman Monique Bond said.
Wednesday's developments follow a lawsuit filed Tuesday aimed at forcing the archdiocese to reveal the names of all its priests suspected of abuse over the past 54 years.
One of the plaintiffs in that case is a woman who claims her son was abused by McCormack, her attorney said. Attorney Jeff Anderson said Monday the boy was not involved in earlier charges filed against McCormack.
George removed McCormack from St. Agatha Church on Jan. 21 — the day he was charged, but months after allegations against him first surfaced. The archdiocese previously had said McCormack was removed a few days before he was charged but corrected itself Wednesday.
Church parents and other critics have said McCormack should have been removed sooner. McCormack's attorney did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday.
Dwyer said a meeting George had with St. Agatha church members on Monday triggered a "pastoral reflection" that led to Bennett's removal.
No other priests in the archdiocese are suspected of abuse, Dwyer said.
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