WBEZ | sexual abuse http://www.wbez.org/tags/sexual-abuse Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en U.N. addresses Vatican handling of child sex abuse cases http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-02-10/un-addresses-vatican-handling-child-sex-abuse-cases-109676 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/(AP PhotoAlessandra Tarantino)2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The United Nations has issued a report which says the Vatican, as a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, is responsible for implementing its mandate. The report says the Vatican has not done enough to protect children from abuse. We&#39;ll discuss the findings.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-the-u-n-addresses-vatican-handling-of-se/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-the-u-n-addresses-vatican-handling-of-se.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-the-u-n-addresses-vatican-handling-of-se" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: U.N. addresses Vatican handling of child sex abuse cases " on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 10:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-02-10/un-addresses-vatican-handling-child-sex-abuse-cases-109676 New report says inadequate staffing allowed for sexual misconduct in youth prisons http://www.wbez.org/news/criminal-justice/new-report-says-inadequate-staffing-allowed-sexual-misconduct-youth-prisons <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/IDJJ_Admin_550_2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A report from an outside consultant says inadequate staffing and oversight led to high rates of sexual abuse in Illinois youth prisons.</p><p>Arthur Bishop, director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, said the department is hiring more workers &ndash; but he said the department is going to need a budget increase next year to get staffing to correct levels.</p><p>The report, released Wednesday, was prepared by Kinsale Management Consulting, a California-based firm that previously investigated sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. It was commissioned by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice after a June report by The United States Bureau of Justice Statistics ranked Illinois as one of the worst in the country for sexual victimization in youth prisons.</p><p>The study credits the department for responding quickly to that ranking, but it also says some of the state&rsquo;s measures to prevent sexual misconduct are outdated and insufficient.</p><p>Specifically, the report calls on the department to update its camera system, hire more prison staff and do a better job of investigating allegations.</p><p>Department of Juvenile Justice Director Arthur Bishop said they&rsquo;ve already hired 25 new workers, but he couldn&rsquo;t give specifics about how many more they need or when the hires would occur.</p><p>&ldquo;I can&rsquo;t give you an exact number,&quot; he said, &quot;but I can tell you without hesitation that we are looking to fill all critical vacancies.&quot;</p><p>Bishop also said the department is going to spend almost $2 million on new cameras.</p><p>The department has until 2017 to comply with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act, and will soon be operating under a federal consent decree with regards to its education and mental health care. Both of those will likely mean more staff, and more money.</p><p>Bishop couldn&rsquo;t give an estimate of how much the total improvements will cost.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re hoping that the General Assembly, when our budget comes about, will work with us on not only meeting these needs of staffing but also the upcoming consent decree requirements and the [Prison Rape Elimination Act] requirements that have some impact on staffing ratios,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>The report was conducted over a 60-day period. It involved a review of the department&rsquo;s records and a visit to each of Illinois&rsquo; six youth prisons, where researchers interviewed staff, former workers and youth.</p><p>One of the key findings of the report was that the federal survey was likely much more accurate than the department&rsquo;s own sexual abuse figures.</p><p>While the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice&rsquo;s internal records indicated a sexual victimization rate of .006 percent, the BJS survey indicated a rate of 15.4 percent, more than 2,500 times higher.</p><p>The consultant&#39;s report made public Wednesday blamed this inconsistency on victim underreporting, inadequate record keeping and failure of staff to report sexual misconduct.</p><p>In fact, researchers noted a &ldquo;code of silence&rdquo; among some prison staff members who told researchers they would not tell on their fellow employees if they knew about misconduct.</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer and reporter. Follow him on twitter @pksmid.</em></p></p> Thu, 24 Oct 2013 16:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/criminal-justice/new-report-says-inadequate-staffing-allowed-sexual-misconduct-youth-prisons Illinois House committee holds emergency hearing on reported youth prison sex abuse http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-house-committee-holds-emergency-hearing-reported-youth-prison-sex-abuse-108024 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/IDJJ_Admin_550_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-368aa32f-ce05-33c4-5f96-1a41faea1d18">State Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) has called for an emergency hearing of his Restorative Justice Committee to address high levels of reported sexual abuse inside Illinois youth prisons.</p><p dir="ltr">Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice Director Arthur Bishop is expected to attend the committee meeting, where he will face questions about a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-near-top-reports-sexual-abuse-youth-prisoners-107590">June federal report</a> that named Illinois as one of the worst states when it comes to reported sexual abuse in its youth prisons.</p><p dir="ltr">Lawmakers say they want to ask Bishop what went wrong and what he is doing to fix it.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We as a committee that deals with restorative justice need to ask some pointed questions of the director,&rdquo; said State Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Addison), the committee&rsquo;s Republican spokesman.</p><p dir="ltr">The federal report found that about 15 percent of juveniles reported being sexually victimized while inside one of Illinois&rsquo; youth prisons. Nationally that figure was less than 10 percent.</p><p dir="ltr">Most of the reported sexual abuse was allegedly done by prison staff.</p><p dir="ltr">Reboletti, who is a former prosecutor, said that raises serious questions.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I want to find out how staff are trained, how staff are disciplined, if criminal charges are being brought &hellip; and what else can we be doing to make sure this doesn&rsquo;t happen again,&rdquo; he said.</p><p dir="ltr">Reboletti also said he wants information on how many youth prisoners alleged sexual abuse in the past six months, and how those claims were investigated.</p><p dir="ltr">That research is one of the measures Bishop said he is taking in response to the report. He said the department investigates all allegations of abuse thoroughly.</p><p dir="ltr">The department also set up a youth hotline and a youth advisory council in an effort to make sure the youth prisoners have a voice in the system, Bishop said.</p><p dir="ltr">Bishop also said he was convening a panel of experts to investigate the report and recommend changes.</p><p dir="ltr">So far those experts have not been named.</p><p dir="ltr">State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), the committee&rsquo;s vice chairwoman, said the state legislature has a critical part to play in reforming the department in light of the report.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Our role is to ask pointed questions about how we came to be so horribly dysfunctional in these facilities, and begin to examine ways we can make it better and ways that we as a legislature can mandate those improvements,&rdquo; Cassidy said.</p><p dir="ltr">Juvenile justice advocates say a key improvement would be an <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/experts-say-illinois-youth-prisons-need-independent-ombudsman-107629">independent inspector general for the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice</a>, which runs the youth prisons.</p><p dir="ltr">That was proposed when the department was created in 2006, but legislators didn&rsquo;t go for it.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;When we created the Department of Juvenile Justice one of the fundamental ideas was an ombudsman, and that didn&rsquo;t happen. So that&rsquo;s something that can be almost immediately created,&rdquo; said the head of the Illinois Commission on Juvenile Justice, retired Judge George Timberlake.</p><p dir="ltr">Cassidy says that was a mistake and lawmakers &ldquo;clearly&rdquo; haven&rsquo;t done enough to monitor the department.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We can do more,&rdquo; she said.</p><p dir="ltr">The House <a href="http://www.ilga.gov/house/committees/hearing.asp?CommitteeID=1442&amp;GA=98">committee hearing is scheduled &nbsp;for July 30</a> in Chicago.</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a reporter for WBEZ, follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/pksmid">@pksmid</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 11 Jul 2013 08:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-house-committee-holds-emergency-hearing-reported-youth-prison-sex-abuse-108024 Illinois near the top in reports of sexual abuse of youth prisoners http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-near-top-reports-sexual-abuse-youth-prisoners-107590 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/IDJJ_Admin_550.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A new federal report says Illinois is one of the worst states in the country when it comes to youth reports of sexual abuse in prison.</p><p>Researchers with the Bureau of Justice Statistics say that more than 15 percent of kids in Illinois youth prisons reported they had been sexually victimized while inside.</p><p>Nationwide, that figure was about 10 percent.</p><p>At a recently closed youth prison in southwest suburban Joliet, about one in five youth reported being victimized by staff.</p><p>John Maki of the prison watchdog John Howard Association says these numbers are &ldquo;shameful,&rdquo; and they show that the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice has to scrutinize its entire system.</p><p>Maki says after the Joliet youth prison closed earlier this year, staff members were transferred to three other youth prisons throughout Illinois.</p><p>&ldquo;On some level there was a culture that permitted this to happen, and again I mean Joliet is closed, the staff are all moved to other facilities. I think the thing we need to focus on now is to make sure that culture died at Joliet. This cannot happen again.&rdquo; Maki says. &ldquo;People should be held accountable.&rdquo;</p><p>In an emailed statement, a spokeswoman with the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice says they are currently reviewing the report and that the department takes all allegations of sexual abuse seriously.</p><p>The 65-page report, released yesterday, is based on surveys with youth prisoners conducted between February and September of 2012 in 273 state-owned or -operated juvenile facilities and 53 locally or privately operated facilities that held adjudicated youth under state contract. The survey limited reporting by youth to incidents occurring in the last 12 months.</p><p>According to that survey, Illinois is one of four states that could be considered to have a high rate of sexual victimization in its youth prisons.</p><p>According to the report, about 2.5 percent of juveniles nationawide reported a sexual incident involving another youth last year, and 7.7 percent reported an incident involving staff members.</p><p>While nationally most victims of staff sexual misconduct reported there was no use of physical force or threats, at the Joliet youth prison the majority of victims reported being victimized by staff through the use of force.</p><p>All but one of the facilities in Illinois - the youth prison in St. Charles - had rates of reported sexual victimization that were higher than the national average.</p><p>The survey, mandated by the Prison Rape Elimination Act, defines sexual victimization as any unwanted sexual activity between youth and all sexual activity between youth and adult staff.</p><p>In an emailed statement, Anders Lindall, a spokesman for the union that represents corrections staff, wrote that the work of the 1,000 men and women in the youth prisons should not be overshadowed by allegations against a few.</p><p>But the John Howard Association&rsquo;s Maki says the tendency to &ldquo;single out bad actors,&rdquo; is the wrong response to this report.</p><p>&ldquo;With these levels of sexual assault it is not one bad apple, it is a bad barrel. Something has gone wrong here in the Department of Juvenile Justice where something like this could happen,&rdquo; Maki said.</p><p>He says that is a sign that the department needs to allow more access to its prisons.</p><p>Right now, Maki says, his group is not allowed to conduct confidential interviews of inmates or to come for unscheduled visits.</p><p>He says without that kind of access for John Howard, or another oversight group, there is no way to be sure this kind of abuse won&rsquo;t happen again.</p><p>He also says it is an indication that the department needs to fix an&nbsp; &ldquo;inadequate&rdquo; grievance process.</p><p>If a youth prisoner has a problem with a guard, he or she has to file a written complaint that is then reviewed by prison staff members.</p><p>&ldquo;Essentially you have a defendant who is also the judge,&rdquo; Maki says.</p><p>That, according to Maki, means it is possible that a person in a youth prison could be reporting sexual abuse to his or her abuser or&nbsp;&nbsp; someone who was complicit in the abuse.</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ reporter.</em></p></p> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 11:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-near-top-reports-sexual-abuse-youth-prisoners-107590 Defrocked Chicago priest gets path to freedom http://www.wbez.org/story/defrocked-chicago-priest-gets-path-freedom-96418 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-February/2012-02-15/Sand Ridge.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A court-approved agreement that classifies a defiant former Chicago priest as “sexually violent” could lead to his release from a Wisconsin treatment facility as early as November.</p><p>Norbert Maday, convicted in 1994 of sexually assaulting Chicago-area children, avoided a Wisconsin jury trial that would have begun Tuesday. Under the deal, prosecutors in Winnebago County won’t contest a supervised release of Maday, 73, if a state evaluation determines the defrocked priest is ready for that freedom. The agreement, approved by Circuit Court Judge Daniel J. Bissett, requires the evaluation to take place in nine months. If Maday remains in custody from there, re-evaluations will occur annually.</p><p>Kevin Greene, the case’s special prosecutor, said his team also wanted to avoid a jury trial.</p><p>“If you lose, he walks away with less supervision,” said Greene, an assistant district attorney in Brown County. The agreement “allows the closest supervision in the community that we can get” if the evaluation backs Maday’s release, he said.</p><p>In 1992, Winnebago County prosecutors charged Maday with molesting two boys, ages 13 and 14, from a Chicago Ridge parish at a 1986 religious retreat in Oshkosh. The court convicted him on three counts of sexual assault and one count of intimidating a witness and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.</p><p>In 2007, as Maday completed the prison term, Wisconsin sought his confinement under a statute that puts “sexually violent persons” under control of the state Department of Health Services. As that case dragged on, Maday remained in the department’s Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston, a town in central Wisconsin. Tuesday’s agreement will keep Maday there as the department provides him treatment.</p><p>Maday’s attorney, Ralph Sczygelski of Manitowoc, told WBEZ the former priest “has denied he is a sexually violent person” and “continues to vehemently deny that anything bad happened” during the Oshkosh retreat. Maday did admit that there was “potentially sufficient evidence for a jury to find him to be a sexually violent person,” Sczygelski said.</p><p>Maday’s possible release could become embarrassing to Cardinal Francis George, head of the Chicago archdiocese, which employed Maday for almost three decades and paid him a stipend in prison. In 2000, George wrote letters of support to Maday as other top archdiocese officials pushed for early release. At another point, the church won Wisconsin permission for the body of Maday’s deceased mother to be brought to his prison. A letter from George thanked then-Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson for that “exceptional act of charity.”</p><p>In a court deposition, George said his view of Maday changed in the early 2000s after the archdiocese received more accusations about the priest. In 2007, George wrote to the Wisconsin Parole Commission, saying the archdiocese no longer was “capable of receiving him back into our system.” The archdiocese says the church laicized Maday that year.</p><p>A leading victim advocate said Tuesday’s agreement could lead to more sexual abuse.</p><p>“Given the fact that Father Maday has been given special treatment in the past, we fear that that will cause him to be potentially released sooner than he should be and we fear that that will put children at risk,” said Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a Chicago-based group known as SNAP.</p><p>But Sczygelski said a supervised release would land Maday in an apartment far from children, schools and parks. “The electronic monitoring these days — the science, the technology, basically — enhances safety tremendously,” Sczygelski said. “The neighborhood is told about it. They’re given pictures and everything. And if they see him stepping out of line, believe me, they’re calling 911.”</p><p>The archdiocese, asked whether it will help monitor Maday if Wisconsin releases him, noted that his church status has changed. “As a laicized priest, the archdiocese has no relationship with Mr. Maday,” spokeswoman Susan Burritt said in a written statement.</p><p>The archdiocese declined to say how many Maday victims have come forward or how many have received church compensation. “The archdiocese does not discuss individual claims or settlements,” the statement said.</p><p>Blaine said Maday has been accused of abusing “three to four dozen children.”</p><p>The archdiocese said Maday was associate pastor at six area parishes: St. John of God in Chicago from 1964 to 1966, St. Leo in Chicago from 1966 to 1969, St. Louis de Montfort in Oak Lawn from 1969 to 1977, St. Bede the Venerable in Chicago from 1977 to 1983, Our Lady of the Ridge in Chicago Ridge from 1983 to 1989, and St. Jude the Apostle in South Holland from 1989 to 1992.</p><p>“The archdiocese extends its prayers for God’s healing and peace to all those affected by child sexual abuse,” Burritt’s statement said.</p></p> Wed, 15 Feb 2012 11:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/defrocked-chicago-priest-gets-path-freedom-96418 After 'Healing Garden' unveiling, a commenter, victim speaks out http://www.wbez.org/story/after-healing-garden-unveiling-commenter-victim-speaks-out-87711 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-10/jim-abuse_picture.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In response to a story WBEZ did June 9<sup>th</sup> titled “<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/cardinal-blesses-%E2%80%98healing-garden%E2%80%99-sex-abuse-victims-87664"><strong>Cardinal blesses ‘healing garden’ for sex-abuse victims</strong>,</a>” Fr. Jim Moran, a priest who was a victim of sexual abuse, left an online comment saying the building of a garden does not make up for the sex abuse within the Catholic Church.</p><p>“We cannot heal victims by words alone,” Moran said in a phone interview. “We cannot heal victims by planting gardens. We need some solid action. A lot of that is going to have to include, unfortunately, some bishops stepping down and being embarrassed if you will. But… they deserve it. They did something absolutely wrong.”</p><p><em>Listen to the full audio of Moran telling the story of his sexual abuse and his thoughts about the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.</em></p></p> Fri, 10 Jun 2011 19:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/after-healing-garden-unveiling-commenter-victim-speaks-out-87711 Sex abuse lurks behind Catholic election http://www.wbez.org/story/undefined/sex-abuse-lurks-behind-catholic-election <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2010-November/2010-11-04/Bishop_Kicanas_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>This story was updated with a clarification on Nov. 12, 2010.</em> *<br /><br /><strong>The nation&rsquo;s Catholic bishops will choose a new leader next month. Both their outgoing president and the bishop likely to take his place have strong ties to the Chicago</strong><strong> archdiocese</strong><strong>. That&rsquo;s not all they have in common. Both clerics advanced the career of a priest who molested as many as 23 boys.&nbsp;They did so even though top archdiocese officials had received allegations about misconduct by the priest. If the election goes as expected, it&rsquo;ll provide ammunition to people who argue there&rsquo;s no accountability for bishops who protect abusers. We report from our West Side bureau.</strong><br /><br />Daniel McCormack went to prison in 2007 for abusing boys when he was pastor of St. Agatha&rsquo;s, a parish in Chicago&rsquo;s North Lawndale neighborhood.<br /><br />To learn more about McCormack, I sit down with a father whose son attended the Catholic school next to the parish. I&rsquo;m keeping the man&rsquo;s name to myself to protect his son&rsquo;s identity.<br /><br />The father says his boy started acting out around age 11 after joining a basketball team McCormack coached. &ldquo;You would try to get to the bottom of it but there was no real way to figure out what was going on,&rdquo; he says.<br /><br />The father didn&rsquo;t find out what was going on until recently. His son&rsquo;s now 20. &ldquo;He was, like, &lsquo;Dad, there&rsquo;s something I want to talk to you about,&rsquo; &rdquo; he says.<br /><br />McCormack was fondling the boy at basketball practice, the father says.<br /><br />The abuse didn&rsquo;t stop there. &ldquo;He would have the children doing tasks around the building,&rdquo; the father says. &ldquo;He&rsquo;d pay them.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;There was one incident specifically,&rdquo; the father continues. &ldquo;It had started raining. My son was out in the yard, doing some yard work. He had gotten muddy. After getting done with what he was told to do, out in the yard, he went inside. Dan told my son to get out of the clothes: &lsquo;Go and take a shower.&rsquo; As my son was getting out of the shower, he would bend him over. He inserted his penis in my son. And this happened more than once.&rdquo;<br /><br />The man says McCormack abused his son for more than three years.<br /><br />The family has now hired an attorney to see if the Chicago archdiocese will agree to a settlement. &ldquo;I feel really betrayed,&rdquo; the father says. &ldquo;We entrusted these people with our child.&rdquo;<br /><br />I asked the father if he had ever heard of Gerald Kicanas, now a bishop of Tuscon, Arizona. Kicanas helped get McCormack&rsquo;s career off the ground in the early 1990s. Kicanas was rector of an archdiocese seminary where McCormack studied.<br /><br />Here&rsquo;s what happened: Kicanas received reports about three McCormack sexual-misconduct cases, one involving a minor. But Kicanas still approved McCormack for ordination.<br /><br />&ldquo;How do you do these things in the name of God?&rdquo; the father asks.<br /><br />I tell him how the Chicago archdiocese assigned McCormack to various parishes. The priest attracted more accusations, but Cardinal Francis George promoted him in 2005 to help oversee other West Side churches.<br /><br />Around that time, Chicago police arrested McCormack on suspicion of child molestation but released him without charges. Cardinal George kept McCormack in his posts even after the archdiocese sexual-abuse review board urged his removal.<br /><br />The North Lawndale father can&rsquo;t believe this. &ldquo;How is it that you&rsquo;re notified that someone in your parish is doing something to children and these people are still getting higher appointments?&rdquo; he asks.<br /><br />It wasn&rsquo;t until McCormack&rsquo;s second arrest&mdash;more than four months after the first&mdash;that George finally yanked him. The delay outraged victim advocates.<br /><br />But George&rsquo;s peers still elected him president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2007. And who did the bishops elect as vice president? Kicanas, the man who approved McCormack&rsquo;s ordination in the first place.<br /><br />&ldquo;They&rsquo;ve looked the other way,&rdquo; says Thomas Doyle, a priest and canon lawyer who helped write a 1985 report about clergy sexual abuse. He later split from church leaders, saying they weren&rsquo;t following his recommendations.<br /><br />Doyle says bishops kept handling abusers the way Kicanas and George handled McCormack: &ldquo;They&rsquo;ve maintained secrecy. They&rsquo;ve secretly transferred the priests. So they have aided and abetted the commission of crimes. But there has been no instance where the pope has called any bishop accountable.&rdquo; <br /><br />Now U.S. bishops are getting ready to elect a president to succeed George. If they stick with tradition, they&rsquo;ll elevate the vice president&mdash;Bishop Kicanas, the former rector of the seminary McCormack attended.<br /><br />I left several messages for Kicanas about the election but he didn&rsquo;t get back. I called the Chicago archdiocese to speak with Cardinal George or a spokesperson. His staff referred me to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. A spokeswoman there said child sexual abuse is not an election issue and that no one else would be commenting.<br /><br />So I called up Jeff Field of the New York-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, a group that often defends how church leaders handle sex-abuse cases. &ldquo;To deny a bishop a promotion because of what some deem as improper&mdash;when what they do is in line with the church&mdash;is wrong,&rdquo; Field says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s ridiculous.&rdquo;<br /><br />In other words, bishops shouldn&rsquo;t face punishment if they followed church policies.<br /><br />And the church claims it didn&rsquo;t know that predators keep at it. &ldquo;Much of the research on sex abusers really began in the &rsquo;90s,&rdquo; says Jan Slattery, head of Chicago archdiocese programs for victims and child safety. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a relatively new body of research.&rdquo;<br /><br />Slattery says the way church officials dealt with McCormack used to be routine. &ldquo;We were very quick to take the word of lawyers and psychologists,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;At one point in time even criminal systems were not putting men in prison for this. They were getting them treatment. But that&rsquo;s changed.&rdquo; <br /><br />Slattery&rsquo;s right. A church audit found U.S. bishops received fewer clergy sex-abuse accusations in 2009 than in any year since 2004. Most of the alleged incidents happened decades earlier.<br /><br />But that&rsquo;s why McCormack stands out. He was abusing the North Lawndale boys just five years ago. And just three years ago, a newspaper quoted Bishop Kicanas saying he was right to allow McCormack&rsquo;s ordination.<br /><br />I asked Slattery how she likes the idea of bishops electing leaders who advanced McCormack&rsquo;s career. She didn&rsquo;t respond.<br /><br />Is Slattery aware of any discipline for McCormack&rsquo;s supervisors? &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not going to be privileged to that if that happened,&rdquo; she answers.<br /><br />There are people taking a big-picture look at the Catholic sexual-abuse crisis and whether the church should reconsider leadership. &ldquo;Celibacy is part of a complex culture that gives priests a sense of deference and entitlement and elitism that can lead to perverse behavior, apparently,&rdquo; says Thomas Groome, a Boston College theologian.<br /><br />Groome says making bishops accountable would require changing how the church is governed: &ldquo;There are ways available, even within canon law. The canon law of the Catholic Church calls for parish councils, diocesan councils&mdash;priests and lay people having voice and representation. We&rsquo;ve never implemented that.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;Some of it will be reform and some of it will be renewal,&rdquo; Groome adds. &ldquo;For example, when you go back into the history of the church, you find that the priests of a diocese had a real voice in choosing their bishop. And, if you go back far enough, in certain places even the people had a real voice in choosing their bishop.&rdquo;<br /><br />But, for now, the faithful don&rsquo;t have that voice. And only the bishops can vote in next month&rsquo;s election.<br /><br />So, barring the unforeseen, their next president&mdash;like the one stepping down&mdash;will have ties to the man who abused the North Lawndale boys.<br /><i><br /></i></p><p style="text-align: left;"><em>* An earlier version of this story said Cardinal Francis George advanced Daniel McCormack&rsquo;s career &ldquo;despite receiving allegations&rdquo; about the priest&rsquo;s misconduct. The basis for our account was a 2008 deposition in which the cardinal answered questions under oath about McCormack&rsquo;s 2005 arrest and George&rsquo;s promotion of the priest to head a deanery. In the deposition, George said he learned of the arrest &ldquo;at the end of August&rdquo; of 2005. McCormack&rsquo;s promotion didn't take effect until Sept. 1, 2005.</em></p><p style="text-align: left;"><em>The Chicago archdiocese says George misspoke during that sworn testimony. A church-commissioned report says the cardinal didn&rsquo;t learn of McCormack's arrest until Sept. 2, 2005&mdash;one day after McCormack's start date as dean.</em></p><p style="text-align: left;"><em>The archdiocese says it&rsquo;s significant that George approved the promotion Aug. 29, one day prior to the arrest. &ldquo;I absolutely deny appointing Dan McCormack as dean after learning of the arrest,&rdquo; the cardinal says in a written statement from his spokeswoman.</em></p><p style="text-align: left;"><em>Accordingly, we&rsquo;ve removed these lines: &ldquo;Both clerics advanced the career of a priest who molested as many as 23 boys. They did so despite receiving allegations about his misconduct.&quot;<br /></em></p><p style="text-align: left;"><em>We replaced them with:</em> <em>&quot;Both clerics advanced the career of a priest who molested as many as 23 boys. They did so even though top archdiocese officials had received allegations about misconduct by the priest.</em><em>&rdquo;</em></p><p style="text-align: left;"><em>As our story notes, however, once George learned of McCormack&rsquo;s August 2005 arrest, the cardinal left the priest in his posts, including the deanery position. The cardinal did so even after his sexual-abuse review board urged McCormack&rsquo;s removal in October 2005. McCormack continued abusing boys. Police finally put an end to it in January 2006, when they arrested him a second time.</em></p><p style="text-align: left;"><em>George insists other archdiocese officials failed to inform him about sexual-misconduct allegations against McCormack </em><em>over the years. But </em><em>the cardinal allowed those officials to continue on in their church careers.</em></p></p> Fri, 22 Oct 2010 18:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/undefined/sex-abuse-lurks-behind-catholic-election