CHICAGO (STMW) — Three men filed separate lawsuits in Cook County Circuit Court on Tuesday, each alleging that a convicted and defrocked priest sexually abused them as children at a West Side school.
The three suits claim that the Catholic Bishop of Chicago, the Archdiocese of Chicago and Cardinal George were negligent in the hiring and retention of former priest Daniel McCormack.
McCormack was arrested in January 2006 and removed from the priesthood in November 2007. He pleaded guilty that year to abusing five children while a parish priest at St. Agatha.
The identities of the three men—ages 18, 20 and 24—were all withheld in the lawsuits, though each alleged that McCormack abused them at some point between 2000 and 2005 while they were students at St. Agatha.
A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Chicago said officials had not seen the lawsuits and could not “comment on the particulars.”
But the statement from the Archdiocese said McCormack is no longer a priest.
“He was removed from public ministry in February of 2006 and laicized (removed from the priesthood) in November 2007. No priest with even one substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor serves in ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago today.”
The statement went on to say: “The abuse of any child is a crime and a sin. The Archdiocese encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious or lay employee, to come forward.”
Each nine-count suit alleges negligent hiring and retention, negligent supervision and fraudulent concealment. Each seeks at least $450,000 in damages.
Each nine-count suit alleges negligent hiring and retention, negligent supervision and fraudulent concealment. Each suit seeks at least $450,000 in damages.