Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Chicago : Even Worse Than We Thought

The update on Fr. McCormack who was accused of abusing boys in Chicago, for ten years is that an independent audit was performed on the Archdiocese's standards and practices and we find that the way the McCormack case was handled reveals that absolutely nothing has changed. Priests are accused and not reported to the police. Priests are accused and continue in the clerical state with access to children. Seminarians are accused of improprieties and abuse and are ordained anyway. Records disappear. Memories fade.

Here's the Chicago Sun article.

Of special interest:

"You read it and you weep," George said. "For the many missteps in responding to the accusations of sexual abuse of minors by Father McCormack, I must accept responsibility. And I do. For the tragedy of allowing children to be in the presence of a priest against whom a current allegation of sexual abuse had been made, I am truly sorry."

They are still out there:

Childers' report notes that 18 priests accused of sexually abusing minors are being "monitored" ineffectually by the archdiocese in various settings by "monitors" -- three priests, two nuns and a deacon -- none of whom has received any training about sex offender management.

And I reiterate: I don't remember being assured that priests accused of abuse would be "monitored". You don't monitor sex abusers, you arrest them.

Monitored by people who have no idea what they are doing:

"The monitors are not officially advised of the type of sexual abuse committed," Childers' report said. "One monitor did report requesting information about the sexual activity of the priest he was assigned to monitor, and was advised by the archdiocese that such information could not be revealed because of confidentiality."

Archdiocesan officials have known for more than a decade that McCormack, who was ordained in 1994, was accused of sexual improprieties with two adult men and one minor in 1992 when he was a seminarian.

In other words the Archdiocese knew about McCormack but he was so cute they let him keep "ministering".

The vice rector of Mundelein Seminary when McCormack was a student, the Rev. John Canary, who is now vicar general of the Chicago archdiocese, says the 1992 allegations were noted in McCormack's seminary record. The records have since disappeared.

Obviously Fr. Canary was promoted for doing such a heck of a job at Mundelein. You have to wonder how many other priests out there have been formed by Fr. Canary.

Twelve priests accused of sexual abuse of a minor live in a "monitored setting" in the Cardinal Stritch retreat house on the Mundelein campus, but the monitoring is done by a deacon who knows little if anything about their sexual histories and has no training in dealing with sex offenders.

Perfect, the sex offenders live, where else, but at the Seminary. What a good idea.

The priests have master keys to all the Stritch house rooms, including those used by other men and women who visit throughout the year. They have unrestricted access to the Internet. At least one priest spends most nights away from the retreat house.

It sounds like jail. How oppressive and unpastoral.

Two accused abusers live at an unidentified retirement home for priests in the south suburbs, where they are each monitored by retired priests. The archdiocese is selling some land next to the retirement home to a local municipality that plans to build a children's playground.

Do they have a nice view of the playground from their rooms?

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