Gary Diocese Defends Not Investigating Priest
Merrillville: Spokesman Says Allegations Never Surfaced at C.P. Church

By Elizabeth Eaken
The Times [Merrillville IN]
February 7, 2006

MERRILLVILLE | The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests made a surprise visit Monday to the office of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gary with members of the Chicago media in tow.

The Rev. Brian Chadwick, spokesman for the Gary Diocese, said SNAP members wanted an explanation about why the Rev. Daniel J. McCormack, who co-celebrated Mass at St. Mary's Church in Crown Point, isn't being investigated by the diocese.

McCormack, a priest at St. Agatha's on Chicago's west side, was charged Jan. 21 in Cook County with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Prosecutors say he repeatedly molested two boys between 2001 and 2005. Now out on bond, McCormack is due to appear in Cook County Criminal Court for a preliminary hearing Friday.

SNAP learned through a story in The Times of McCormack's presence at St. Mary's, Chadwick said. He said he gave SNAP the same explanation he previously gave The Times.

The Gary Diocese has procedures in place to handle abuse claims. In the instance of McCormack, no complaints were made so there is no reason to investigate, Chadwick said. If an allegation of abuse is made, he said, a diligent investigation is conducted.

Chadwick said McCormack isn't a Gary diocesan priest. He celebrated Mass at St. Mary's because he has nieces and nephews that are members of that parish. Three of those times McCormack co-celebrated first holy communion and one time a baptism, Chadwick said.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.