Evangelism Exposed

“Jesus wept.” Joh 11:35

Sex Abuse Cases against Archdiocese of Chicago

[1st source]:

Settlements name 10 priests, including Daniel McCormack

Last update: 8:14 a.m. EDT Aug. 12, 2008
CHICAGO, Aug 12, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — WHAT
At a news conference, survivors of clergy sex abuse and their attorneys will announce and discuss the settlement of child molestation cases involving 10 priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago: Daniel McCormack, Joseph Bennett, Norbert Maday, Robert Mayer, James Hagan, Robert Craig, Robert Becker, Thomas Kelly, James Steel, and Joseph Owens. Additional information will be provided at the press event.
CHICAGO (WBBM/AP)  — As first reported by WBBM Newsradio, the Archdiocese of Chicago says it’s agreed to pay $12.675 million to settle lawsuits that accused 11 Catholic priests of sexual abuse.

WBBM’s Mike Krauser reports.

Cardinal Francis George announced the $12.675 million settlement himself, which involves ten Chicagoland priests and 16 abuse cases.

The Cardinal apologized to the priests’ victims. He says the church is “certainly wounded’ by the abuse and he hopes the settlements will allow the victims to heal.

“In the sense that I’m responsible for the Archdiocese, I have to accept the blame,” George said. “I think the decisions as I made them were based upon what was in front of me at any one time, but I regret with all my heart that I didn’t feel I was able to take (McCormack) out immediately.”
Attorney Jeff Anderson represents some of the victims and praised the mediation process used to reach the agreement. Anderson also said the cardinal has “demonstrated his commitment to healing these survivors.’

In a statement, Cardinal George says he hopes the settlements will help the abuse survivors and their families begin to heal.

These abuse cases date back to the 1960s and extend through 2006.  All of the priests have been removed from public ministry.  

The following is a list of the priests involved and their current status:

– Robert C. Becker, died in 1989.
– Joseph R. Bennett, removed from the ministry in 2006.
– Robert Craig, resigned in 1993.
– James C. Hagan, resigned in 1997.
– Thomas F. Kelly, died in 1990.
– Norbert Maday, removed from the ministry in 1993 and now in prison.
– Robert E. Mayer, resigned in 1994.
– Daniel J. McCormack, removed from the ministry in 2006 and now in prison.
– Joseph Owens, resigned in 1970.
– Kenneth C. Ruge, died in 2002.
– James Steel, resigned in 1992.

You may recall McCormack is serving a five year prison term for abusing five boys.  An allegation he fondled at least one boy was reported by the boy’s mother, who eventually called police herself when Archdiocese took no steps toward removing McCormack.
According to an attorney for the plaintiffs, this is in his words “A pretty historic event.”

Chicago archdiocese settles priest sex-abuse cases for $12.7 million

2 lawsuits involved convicted ex-clergyman Daniel McCormack

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago will pay $12.7 million to settle lawsuits brought by clergy sex-abuse victims, including boys molested by Daniel McCormack, a former priest on the West Side, church officials said Tuesday.

The settlement covers cases involving 16 abuse survivors and 11 priests, including McCormack, who pleaded guilty last year to abusing five boys and has been sentenced to 5 years in prison. Two of the suits settled Tuesday involved McCormack, and the archdiocese said it has now settled four of the five cases against him.

Cardinal Francis George said he hoped the payouts would help bring closure for the victims.

“My hope is that these settlements will help the survivors and their families begin to heal and move forward,” George said. “I apologize again today to the survivors and their families and to the whole Catholic community.

“We must continue to do everything in our power to ensure the safety of the children in our care.”

Lawyers for the victims identified the priests or former priests involved in the settlement as McCormack, Joseph Bennett, Norbert Maday, Robert Mayer, James Hagan, Robert Craig, Robert Becker, Thomas Kelly, James Steel, Joseph Owens and Kenneth Ruge.

As George was announcing the settlement, two abuse victims and their lawyers held a somber news conference a short distance away to thank the archdiocese.

“This goes a long way to help those survivors in their recovery,” said Jeff Anderson, one of the attorneys in the case, during the news conference at the Loop offices of Kerns, Frost & Pearlman.

Still, it was clear from the two victims that the settlement could not provide closure to an ugly chapter in their lives.

“After all these years burying it deep inside, suicide attempts, I know that is wasn’t my fault,” said Bob Brancato, who was abused by Steel, his priest at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Wheeling, when he was 12 and 13. “I now can have a life without the fear and shame that surrounds the abuse that we victims have gone through.”

But there is no amount of time or money that can change what happened, Brancato said.

“The best way I can express this is you never get over this, you get used to it,” he said.

The latest settlements bring the total number of abuse claims settled by the archdiocese to 250 over the last 30 years.

Cardinal Francis George, at Tuesday’s news conference with Jimmy Lago, chancellor of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, hopes the settlement in the priest sex-abuse cases will help the survivors begin to heal. (Tribune photo by Chuck Berman / August 12, 2008)

More sources:

Chicago Archdiocese to pay $12.6 million to 16 sex abuse survivors
Catholic Weekly – Saginaw,MI,USA
By Catholic News Service CHICAGO (CNS) — The Archdiocese of Chicago has agreed to pay 16 victims of clergy sex abuse more than $12.6 million in a

16 clergy sex abuse victims to get $12.6 million from Chicago
Dallas Morning News – Dallas,TX,USA
Catholic News Service has the story about the latest settlement in the clergy sex abuse scandal. Comments limited to 30 words or less are preferred.

August 13, 2008 - Posted by | Bankrupt Churches, Catholic Church, Church Scandals, Sex Abuse

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