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Church Officials Unveil New Plan for Clergy Sex Abuse Cases

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Cardinal Francis George today appointed a high-level administrator to oversee and revise how the church handles allegations of clergy sex abuse.

Archdiocese Chancellor Jimmy Lago will now have the responsibility of ensuring the church deals more promptly and effectively with clergy sex abuse allegations.

One of Lago’s first actions is to recommend the immediate, temporary removal from parish ministy of any priest accused of abuse while an investigation takes place.

And he’s requiring all allegations of abuse be reported to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, even if the victim is no longer a minor.

Lago is also commissioning an outside audit of mistakes made in the recent handling of abuse allegations against two priests: Daniel McCormack at St. Agatha Parish on Chicago’s West Side, and Joseph Bennett at Holy Ghost Parish in suburban South Holland.

And he’s hired a former federal officer to review how the Archdiocese monitors priests accused of abuse.

Victims groups, such as the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, say they’re disappointed Cardinal George chose to promote one of his staff instead of disciplining those responsible for earlier errors.”

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