Father Daniel McCarthy, the Pastor Emeritus at St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish and School, has been removed from his duties at the Norwood Park church while the Archdiocese of Chicago investigates a decades-old sexual abuse allegation.
McCarthy was accused of sexually abusing a minor about 50 years ago during his time at the now-closed Angel Guardian Orphanage in West Ridge, Cardinal Blase Cupich wrote in a letter to the St. Elizabeth community.
The Archdiocese of Chicago's Archdiocesan Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review is looking into the allegations, Cupich wrote. McCarthy has been asked to live away from St. Elizabeth, 6020 W. Ardmore Ave. until the investigation is complete.
McCarthy declined to comment Saturday evening.
The archdiocese has also reported the allegations to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County state's attorney's office, Cupich wrote.
Neither DCFS nor the state's attorney's office immediately responded to a request for comment.
Full letter from Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, on Father Daniel McCarthy:
"Dear Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish and School Family,
It is with great difficulty that I write to share news about your pastor emeritus, Father Daniel McCarthy. I have asked Father McCarthy to step aside from ministry following receipt this week by the Archdiocese of Chicago's Archdiocesan Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor approximately 50 years ago while he was assigned to Angel Guardian Orphanage in Chicago. I have asked that Father McCarthy live away from the parish while the matter is investigated.
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 (DCFS) 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 the days and weeks ahead, members of the Archdiocese's Office for the Protection of Children and Youth will be available to answer any questions you may have and provide you with support during this challenging time.
It is crucial that you know nothing is more important than the welfare of the children entrusted to our care. The Archdiocese of Chicago takes all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously and encourages anyone who feels they have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious or lay employee, to come forward. Complete information about reporting sexual abuse can be found on the Archdiocesan website at www.archchicago.org.
Please know that you are in my prayers. We will do our best to keep you informed of developments as they occur.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Cardinal Blase J. Cupich"
The Sun-times Media Report contributed to this article.