According to the Associated Press, Reverend Daniel McCormack, 38, has plead guilty to five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for abusing five boys between the ages of eight and 12, dating back to 2001.
McCormack who had been the parish priest at St. Agatha Catholic Church knew the consequences of pleading guilty to the accusations and declined to make any statements to the court. Judge Thomas Sumner sentenced McCormack to five years in prison.
McCormack who was given a plea deal had been easy since the maximum sentence was between three and seven years. McCormack took the plea to keep the boys who had accused him the embarrassment and recoil of having to testify on the stand.
The allegations against McCormick first came to light in August of 2005, police however did not have enough evidence against McCormick and after his arrest he was released due to insufficient evidence. He had not been removed from St. Agatha Catholic Church until the school principal, Barbara Westrick said that she had removed McCormick as pastor until allegations from a boy were brought to her attention in January 2006. After hearing the allegations, Westrick informed the archdiocese, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
The Archdiocese of Chicago has said that it has learned it’s mistakes in the handling of the case regarding McCormick. Cardinal Francis George even apologized for his actions regarding how he handled or did not handle the case the way he should have. The attorney for some of the victims told the Associated Press, “It would’ve been nice to see all the information go public”.
As McCormick’s attorneys left the courthouse they declined to comment.
According to Wikipedia, in the late 1990’s a series of accusations were made against Roman Catholics priests. Nearly 4,392 priests in the United States had been accused of sexual abuse. Amazingly most of the abuse that has been alleged has been done on males.
On March 22, 2002, Pope John Paul II sent a 22 page letter around the world acknowledging the sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic church. In one part of the letter the pope writes “At this time we are personally and profoundly afflicted of the sins of some of our brothers who have betrayed the grace of ordination in succumbing even to the most grievous forms of the mysterium inequitatis (the mystery of evil) at work in the world”, as reported by CNN.
SOURCE : Priest gets 5 years for sex abuse – Associated Press
SOURCE : Pope responds to sex abuse cases – By CNN’s Rome Bureau Chief Alessio Vinci
SOURCE : Roman Catholic sex abuse cases – Wikipedia