Former OLV, St. Tars pastor asked to step aside from ministry after allegation stemming from 50 years ago
by BRIAN NADIG
The former pastor of Our Lady of Victory and Saint Tarcissus parishes on the Far Northwest Side is facing an allegation of sexual abuse to a minor while he was assigned to an orphanage about 50 years ago.
Father Dan McCarthy is on leave from the ministry during the investigation and has been asked to live away from the Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity (formerly Saint Tarcissus) Parish, 6020 W. Ardmore Ave., where he serves as pastor emeritus, according to the Archdiocese of Chicago.
The 79-year-old retired priest also has stepped aside from his role as part-time chaplain at Resurrection Prep High School, 7500 W. Talcott Ave., and Notre Dame Prep High School, 7655 W. Dempster St., Niles.
In an Oct. 17 letter to the Saint Elizabeth Parish, Cardinal Blase Cupich wrote that McCarthy was asked to step aside from the ministry "following receipt this week by the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor approximately 50 year ago while he was assigned to Angel Guardian Orphanage in Chicago."
The letter continued, "Allegations are claims that have not been proven as true or false, therefore, guilt or innocence should not be assumed. In keeping with our child protection policies, the allegation was reported to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County State’s Attorney. The person making the allegation has been offered the services of our Victim Assistance Ministry, and the archdiocese has begun its investigation of this matter."
In a letter to parents, Resurrection officials wrote, "The safety and formation of the young women entrusted to our care is paramount. Any allegation is taken seriously and reported to the appropriate authorities. Specific information on the investigation process can be found at the archdiocese Web site, www.archchicago.org."
McCarthy was assigned to the orphanage in West Ridge as its assistant director from 1967 to 1974, when it closed, and he then became the associate pastor for 7 years at Our Lady of Victory, 5212 W. Agatite Ave., according to the Saint Elizabeth Web site.
After several other assignments, he returned to OLV in 1986 and served as its pastor for 12 years, and in 1998 he was named the associate pastor at Saint Tarcissus, where in 2000 he became its pastor, serving in the position until 2011.