Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Saturday, February 13, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Nation and World
Chicago Archdiocese to release documents on past child sex abuse cases
Catholic News Service photo
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago. 
Catholic News Service photo
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago. 
Catholic News Service

CHICAGO — Chicago Cardinal Francis George, in a letter to be published Jan. 12 in parish bulletins, said "any abuse of a young person is heartbreaking" and such cases have put "a heavy burden on all of us in the church."

His letter announced that in cooperation with the Chicago Archdiocese, lawyers representing those who have brought claims of past abuse planned to release documents pertaining to 30 archdiocesan priests accused of abusing minors at various times in past years.

The release, expected around Jan. 15, is a result of a mediation agreement between claimants and the archdiocese.

"We cannot change the past, but we can help those affected and work to ensure this does not happen again," Cardinal George said in his letter.

Ninety-five percent of the incidents in the cases occurred prior to 1988, according to an archdiocesan press release issued Jan. 7 along with a copy of the cardinal's letter. All cases were reported to civil authorities "and the archdiocese did not hide abuse or protect abusers," it said.

The files name 30 priests, almost all of whom have been laicized or are deceased; none is currently in ministry. The archdiocese said the names have been listed on its website for several years.

"Today there are no diocesan priests in ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago with substantiated sexual abuse claims against them," the release said.

In his letter, Cardinal George said all the incidents referenced in the files "were reported over the years to the civil authorities and claims have been mediated civilly."

"Almost all of the incidents happened decades ago, perpetrated by priests whom neither I nor many younger clergy have ever met or talked to, because the priests were either dead or out of ministry before I came to Chicago as archbishop," he added.

Then-Archbishop George was installed to head the Chicago Archdiocese in 1997. Pope John Paul II named him a cardinal a year later.

In his letter, Cardinal George said that although the files are about old cases, their release "nevertheless ... puts the actions of these men and the archdiocese itself in the spotlight. Painful though publicly reviewing the past can be, it is part of the accountability and transparency to which the archdiocese is committed."

He also discussed in some detail the most recent case highlighted in the documents -- that of former priest Daniel McCormack, who was ordained in 1994.

In 2006, when he was a pastor of St. Agatha Parish on Chicago's West Side, then-Father McCormack was accused of abusing young boys from 2001 to 2005. He pleaded guilty in November 2007 to charges related to the abuse of five children and sentenced to five years in prison. He was removed from the priesthood that year.

Cardinal George said his predecessor, the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, had "vetted his seminary record" and ordained McCormack. When he became Chicago's archbishop in 1997, the cardinal said, then-Father McCormack "had a reputation as a dedicated priest and effective pastor."

It wasn't until September 2005, he continued, that the priest's name was associated with abuse, when the cardinal was told he had been arrested, questioned and released without charges.

"Various offices involved did not consistently share what they knew with me. Nor did the civil authorities share with the archdiocese what they came to know in their investigations," Cardinal George said.

After the priest's second arrest in January 2006, "a number of incidents" were brought to light "that might have served as warning signals along the way, if people had been more wary," the cardinal said.

"The response, in retrospect, was not always adequate to all the facts, but a mistake is not a cover-up," he added.

The McCormack case led the archdiocese to revise its policy regarding the reporting of alleged clergy abuse.

An archdiocesan victim assistance ministry has been in place for more than 25 years, the press release noted. The Office for the Protection of Children and Youth provides support to abuse survivors and their families, trains adults and children on how to recognize and prevent abuse; annual audits "ensure all church organizations comply with archdiocesan policies concerning abuse."

Since 2003, more than 160,000 priests, deacons, religious, lay employees and volunteers have been trained by the archdiocese to recognize and prevent abuse; more than 200,000 children have been taught how to protect themselves from sexual predators.

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved