DCFS Takes Lead on Abuse Cases
February 24, 2006
Archdiocesan officials said they would let civil authorities take the lead as the Department of Children and Family Services reviews at least five new child-abuse allegations against Rev. Daniel McCormack.
"We've been asked to stay out of the way until they complete their investigation, until they go through the court proceedings," Jim Dwyer, spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, said Thursday. "We will cooperate fully and do nothing to jeopardize the investigation. When it takes its course, we will then follow up with the canonical process."
Church officials confirmed Thursday that McCormack had officially resigned as pastor of St. Agatha after he was removed from ministry by the archdiocese last month.
The case has prompted church officials to revise their sexual-abuse policy and work more closely with DCFS to determine whether priests should be removed from ministry.
DCFS officials declined to comment Thursday on the McCormack inquiry. They also announced they will not make each new allegation public or discuss whether the department is reporting allegations to police or church authorities.
Archdiocese officials confirmed Thursday they had been notified about additional abuse allegations but would not confirm the number.
DCFS officials said discussions continue about whether child welfare officials will be permitted to review all past allegations against priests.
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