Cardinal George apologizes to disgruntled Chicago parishioners
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Recently released from Loyola University Hospital after a bout with dizzy spells, Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George met Monday night with members of a Chicago area parish whose pastor was removed because of molestation charges involving two boys between 2001 and 2005.

The Cardinal took the opportunity to apologize about the way the scandal was handled by the Archdiocese and seek reconciliation with parishioners.

Chicago police charged Fr. Daniel McCormack on January 21st with two counts of child molestation and said that they were looking into more. The priest was removed from active ministry before the charges were filed.

200 people crowded into the church for the two-hour meeting in which the major concern voiced was that parishioners did not know about the charges earlier.

The Cardinal said that the Archdiocese had not received an allegation in August, when the incident originally surfaced, only a notification from police that the priest was being questioned.

"I'm sorry to be with you”, a forlorn Cardinal George said, “because this occasion is one that shames me certainly."

On Saturday afternoon, the prelate made himself available for reporter’s questions in a press conference that surprised even his own staff.

There, he said that “The sins of priests and bishops destroy the church…That is what we’re seeing.”

With regard to why the Archdiocese didn’t act in August, when charges began to surface, the Cardinal said that “You can’t just snap your fingers and remove a pastor. There is a canonical process…Had I known then what I know now, I think I would have found some way to take him out.”

According to norms drafted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002, a priest with a “credible allegation of abuse” must be removed from ministry.

However, Cardinal George pointed out, for the allegation to be credible, it needs to be brought to the archdiocese by the victim or the victim’s parent or guardian. “Otherwise”, he said, “it’s hearsay . . . To investigate it, we have to get the information from the victim himself.”

Apparently, even more problems surfaced when the Archdiocese was not able to gain information on the charges from the state or local police department without a subpoena.

“When we tried to get the information from the state,” the Cardinal said, “we couldn’t get it. In a sense, it’s the opposite of what you usually think of as a cover-up. . . . In this case, we didn’t have the information and the state did have it. We asked the state for it and we couldn’t get it for their own reasons.”

Cardinal George has promised to bring up this difficult technicality at the next meeting of the U.S. Bishops in a sincere effort to prevent situations like this from occurring in other parishes and dioceses.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 21, 2014


All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

Gospel:: Lk 1: 26-38

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27