Boy Alleging Molestation Sues George, Archdiocese

By Cathleen Falsani
Chicago Sun-Times
February 10, 2006

An 11-year-old Chicago boy who has accused the Rev. Daniel McCormack of molesting him on numerous occasions until about six weeks ago sued Cardinal Francis George and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago for negligence Thursday.

The boy and his mother, known in court filings as "John Doe 100" and "Mother Doe 100," claim in the lawsuit filed by Minnesota attorney Jeff Anderson that the cardinal and other archdiocesan officials knew there had been allegations of sexual misconduct with children against McCormack, former pastor of St. Agatha parish, as early as 2000 and allowed the priest to remain.

Priest accused of abusing 3

Last month, prosecutors charged McCormack, 37, pastor of St. Agatha since 2000, with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for allegedly fondling two boys at his North Lawndale parish between September 2001 and January 2005. Last week, prosecutors charged McCormack with an additional count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for allegedly molesting "John Doe 100" between Oct. 25, 2004, and Dec. 31, 2005.

George and archdiocesan officials have publicly acknowledged that they knew McCormack was questioned by police last August about allegedly molesting an 8-year-old Willowbrook boy in December 2003. At the time, authorities said they didn't have sufficient evidence to prosecute the priest.

The cardinal said he did not remove McCormack from ministry at the time because the family of the Willowbrook boy never brought their allegations directly to the archdiocese, a claim the boy's family has vehemently contested. George has since apologized publicly for not removing McCormack from St. Agatha last summer.

Suit says child put in harm's way

Last month, a nun who worked at Chicago's Holy Family School, where McCormack used to celebrate weekly mass for pupils, told the Chicago Sun-Times the priest asked a fourth-grade boy to drop his pants in the sacristy after mass. She said she informed her superiors in the Catholic Schools office on several occasions but was told to "let it drop."

The lawsuit filed Thursday, which seeks at least $100,000 in damages, claims archdiocesan officials knowingly placed the 11-year-old boy in harm's way and also destroyed documents -- including a 2000 letter the nun says she wrote outlining her allegations against McCormack -- to hinder the priest's prosecution.


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