The Chicago Archdiocese has removed a Des Plaines Catholic Priest from the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe over the weekend.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
October 4, 2015
Des Plaines, Illinois - On Thursday, the rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines was removed from his duties after allegations that Father Marco A. Mercado was having an alleged romantic relationship with an adult male. Father Mercado has not admitted that he is gay or denied his romantic relationship with the unidentified man, but the Chicago Archdiocese ordered him not to live close to the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine where he was the rector. Father Adam Sandoval Duran has been named at the new interim rector at the shrine.
The Chicago Archdiocese released the following statement, "On October 1, 2015, Archbishop Blase J. Cupich removed Rev. Marco A. Mercado, Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines from ministry because of Fr. Mercado's inappropriate relationship with an adult man...Archbishop Cupich has withdrawn Fr. Mercado's faculties, his authority to minister...Fr. Mercado will reside away from the Shrine, effective immediately."In response, Father Mercado released the following statement, "As a human being I am not perfect, but as a priest my priority has always been the work of the Gospel and the struggle for immigrants and the most vulnerable. I pray that this issue is resolved soon, and I ask for your prayers, at the same time that I apologize if this scandal has caused any hardship to the faithful. I pray that Santa Maria de Guadalupe keep us under her mantle."
Father Mercado was also the Director of the Hispanic Ministry at the Chicago Archdiocese. He was personally invited by U.S. Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Chicago) to the House Chamber to hear Pope Francis address the Congress on September 26 and he also met with President Barack H. Obama during the Pope Francis visit in Washington, D.C.