In an apparent move to not lose face with his flock, Francis Cardinal George is moving swiftly to make a subtle yet important change to the Archdiocesan abuse policy. In response to the mounting allegations of abuse against Rev. Daniel McCormack, George has stated that “next time” he will notify authorities immediately instead of waiting to investigate the allegations.
The Archdiocese of Chicago said it would soon release details of a new policy for dealing with accusations of abuse by priests.
The details were still being worked out, with an announcement expected later in the week, NBC5’s Mary Ann Ahern reported. The changes come after a zero-tolerance policy agreed upon during a conference in Dallas in 2002.
The new plan calls for quicker action. After an allegation of abuse, the archdiocese plans call for a suspension of the priest, pending an investigation. The archdiocese will also make a public announcement, as well as work with the police, DCFS and the state’s attorney’s office to get information and invite victims to come forward.
“We should have done it from the very beginning when there was a current case,” said Jimmy Lago, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago. “I think because our experience had been mostly with cases that were 20, 30, 40 years old, without any sense that there was any recurrence.”