New Suit Filed in Chicago Priest Abuse Case
By Michael Tarm
January 24, 2014
|This Aug. 27, 2007 file photo provided by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections shows inmate Norbert Maday, a former Chicago area priest. A new lawsuit filed Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, in Cook County Court, alleging sexual abuse of children in the 1960s and 1970s focuses on Maday, who is mentioned in documents the Archdiocese of Chicago released this week. It accuses Maday, and another man of molesting children, sometimes in swimming pools. It names the men and the Archdiocese of Chicago as defendants. Maday was convicted in 1994 and imprisoned for molesting two boys. (AP Photo/Wisconsin Department of Corrections, File)|
A new lawsuit filed Thursday alleging sexual abuse of children in the 1960s and ’70s focuses on a now-defrocked priest referred to at length in documents released this week by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.
Norbert J. Maday molested boys — sometimes in cars or motel swimming pools — when a priest at Chicago’s St. Leo Catholic Church and later at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church in Oak Lawn, according to the lawsuit.
The document, filed in Cook County Court on behalf of three plaintiffs, names Maday, the archdiocese and another man, Thomas Hacker, who is serving two concurrent 50-year prison terms on a 1989 conviction for molesting three boys.
The suit says the archdiocese should have known kids were at risk, and it seeks more than $50,000 on each of multiple civil counts. The diocese hadn’t seen the suit, so couldn’t comment, spokeswoman Susan Burritt said.
Maday, 75, was convicted in Wisconsin in 1994 for molesting two boys and sentenced to prison. He was released in 2007, according to a Wisconsin Department of Corrections’ website.
In a 2000 letter to Maday, Cardinal Francis George informed him the archdiocese was seeking his early release from prison, documents released by the archdiocese this week show.
“It would be a great fulfillment of the millennium spirit to see your captive heart set free,” George writes.
But in a 2007 letter to the Parole Commission of Wisconsin — just before Maday’s scheduled release — George writes he is severing all ties to Maday, including by formally removing him from the priesthood.
“My first reason is the protection of the vulnerable,” George explains. And, he adds, “It would be a cause of scandal ... if he were to return to the Chicago metropolitan area and remain a priest.”
Wisconsin’s sex offender registry gives Maday’s current residence as Oshkosh, Wis. But there was no telephone listing for a Norbert Maday in Oshkosh.
In the early ’70s, Hacker, who was never a priest, oversaw a Boy Scout troop based in the Oak Lawn church; Hacker would sometimes accompany Maday on retreats, where they would both molest children, the lawsuit says.
Hacker, 77, was the subject of a 2012 lawsuit alleging the Boy Scouts of America and Chicago-area scouting officials failed to protect children from the convicted pedophile. A message seeking comment from the Texas-based organization wasn’t immediately returned.