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St. Mary Priest Removed By Archdiocese

Jun 24, 2002 | Chicago Daily Herald

An associate pastor from Buffalo Grove will be barred from pastoral duties starting Tuesday.

Cardinal Francis George said the move is in keeping with new policies for dealing with priests the church has identified as sexual abusers.

The Rev. Daniel Buck, 57, who has been with St. Mary Catholic Church in Buffalo Grove for less than one year, was one of five priests whom the Chicago Archdiocese on Sunday said were removed temporarily from their responsibilities.

All five plan to appeal their cases.

Buck was ordained in 1971. From August 1984 to June 1989, he was at St. Thomas of Villanova in Palatine.

His temporary removal, as that of the other four priests, was part of the archdiocese's effort to conform to new, more stringent polices adopted earlier this month by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, George said.

In all, eight priests either have been removed, resigned from the priesthood or have stopped celebrating Masses since the policies were adopted.

The archdiocese also revealed Sunday that earlier this month the Rev. William L. Lupo, 63, who had been pastor at St. Peter Damian Catholic Church in Bartlett since July 1990, resigned in the wake of similar allegations.

Lupo, who was ordained in 1965, had also served as associate pastor at St. Mary's Church in Des Plaines from June 1979 to June 1986, and as pastor at Our Lady of the Wayside Church in Arlington Heights from June 1986 to July 1990.

One other priest - the Rev. Richard Bartz, 53, chaplain at Chicago's Ravenswood Hospital, resigned at the same time as Lupo. A third, the Rev. Daniel M. Holihan, 72, who had been celebrating weekend Masses until recently at St. Mary of Vernon in Indian Creek, retired last year, making his removal unnecessary now.

Archdiocese officials said each of the eight priests was the subject of allegations of sexual abuse involving minors, some of which date back more than 30 years.

Archdiocese administrator the Rev. Daniel Smilanic said the Vatican (news - web sites) could either resolve the cases or send them back to Chicago for resolution, adding the process could take more than a year.

If permanently removed from clerical duties, the priests would be barred from celebrating Mass and wearing clerical attire. They also would no longer be allowed to "present themselves publicly as priests on any occasion," George said.

"I hope that as we continue through this process that justice will be done for all," George said of the tribunal. He said he also hopes "that in implementing the (new policy), there will be healing and reconciliation in the church and trust will be restored in our pastoral life."

Former Buffalo Grove Trustee John Marienthal, a member of St. Mary Catholic Church, said he learned the news about Buck during services, when the church's pastor, the Rev. Marc Reszel, read a letter from the archdiocese.

Marienthal said church members were given no details, other than the fact that the action taken by the archdiocese referred to events that happened long before Buck's arrival at St. Mary.

"I really was sort of taken aback," said Marienthal, who has attended the church for 27 years.

Longtime church member Marianne Krug said she is praying for Buck. She said he was a very likable priest who had a beautiful voice that shined especially during Mass.

"He seemed to be very fair and nice," she said.

The St. Mary church building is often referred to as Buffalo Grove's most prominent landmark. It was built in 1899 by the families of some of the area's earliest settlers.

The other four priests temporarily removed Sunday are the Rev. John Calicott, 54, pastor of Holy Angels Catholic Church in Chicago; the Rev. John Keehan, 60, pastor of St. Ann Catholic Church in Chicago; the Rev. James Ray, 53, of the archdiocese's health and hospital affairs office; and Thomas Swade, 66, a coordinator in the archdiocese's office for racial justice.

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