$12.675million Settlement in Priest Abuse Cases

August 12, 2008

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.

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.

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."


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