Priest Calls for Cardinal's Resignation
Lawyer Says Family Went to School with Allegations

NBC 5 [Chicago IL]
February 8, 2006

CHICAGO -- A priest has called for the resignation of Francis Cardinal George if it is proved that he ignored warnings of problems about a Chicago priest who has been charged with abusing three boys.

The Rev. Dan McCormack was removed after being charged with three counts of sexual abuse. In another case, that of Rev. Joseph Bennett, the independent review board made recommendations back in October, but George sent it back for more work. Bennett was removed last week.

"If the cardinal countermanded it, then that doesn't need an apology, that needs a resignation," said the Rev. Bill Kenneally. "The commission has been given authority and it's not a good thing to go against a commission that you've set up."

Archdiocesan officials did not return calls seeking comment on Kenneally's comments.

On Jan. 28, George said the archdiocese was waiting for an allegation, and said they thought they would get it more quickly, but never did.

Bill Turner, the lawyer who is representing the family of the 11-year-old boy who voiced the first complaints against Rev. Dan McCormack last summer said the boy's mother not only went to the police, but to the Archdiocese of Chicago and St. Agatha's School in September.

"(She) told them everything that had happened," Turner said. "Informing them about everything that had happened to their son. Told them about when it had happened, how they were alone, why they were alone, the gifts the son had gotten."

Lawyers at the archdiocese asked for the allegation in writing, which the family provided, Ahern reported. Archdiocesan officials did not return calls for comment on what they knew about McCormack in September.

"Her concern in this whole case was making sure that he didn't do it to somebody else and he was removed immediately from the church and contact with children," Turner said. "That didn't happen, we now know."

The archdiocese said it would put in place even clearer guidelines, with a formal announcement expected later in the week.


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