For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014
Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, president of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com)
Three more child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits have been filed against the Chicago archdiocese because of the heinous crimes of Fr. Daniel McCormack.
We are deeply saddened each time we hear about more kids who were sexually assaulted by this prolific predator who was repeatedly given free passes and second chances by Cardinal Francis George and his top deputies.
Tragically, this horror could have all been avoided if only three steps had been taken.
First, church officials could have heeded warnings about McCormack's behavior in seminary and should not have ordained him.
Second, they could have ousted him at the first troubling indication of sexual misdeeds and maladjustment (and there were several of them) early in his priesthood.
Third, they could have responded with sensitivity when the first abuse report was made. Instead, Cardinal George, Jimmy Lago and other archdiocesan staff acted selfishly and deceptively, trying desperately to protect their reputations. This kind of irresponsible behavior is largely what drives victims to file lawsuits: when church officials, confronted with clear evidence of child sex crimes, act more like cold-hearted CEOs than the compassionate shepherds they profess to be.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)