Cook County Man Sues Archdiocese, Alleges Abuse in Late 1970s

By Jennifer Delgado
Chicago Tribune
August 21, 2012

A Cook County man filed a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and Cardinal Francis George on Tuesday, alleging that a now-deceased Augustinian brother who worked at St. Rita of Cascia High School molested him several times in the late 1970s.

A lawsuit filed Tuesday claims Brother Christopher J. McCartney, a former high school dean at St. Rita's, sexually attacked him in the dean's office when he was a student. The complaint alleges the Archdiocese of Chicago was careless and negligent because it didn't investigate sexual abuse reports against McCartney while he worked at the all-boys Catholic high school.

However, according to an official with the Augustinians of the Midwest, McCartney, who died in 2002, was employed by the Augustinian religious order that runs the school on Chicago's South Side, not the archdiocese, as the lawsuit claimed.

An archdiocese spokeswoman declined to comment, saying she hadn't seen the lawsuit.

According to the suit, McCartney pulled the student out of class in 1977 or 1978 several times for misbehaving and later removed his pants to fondle him.

The student didn't recall the alleged attacks until 2011, the complaint stated. "Even now I am still haunted by the torture I endured as a teen," the man said in a statement provided by his lawyer.

McCartney worked as dean of men at St. Rita's from 1973 to 1978, said the Rev. Bernie Scianna, the prior provincial of the Augustinians of the Midwest. After St. Rita's, McCartney moved to other assignments, working at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines for a year and parishes outside Chicago until he died, Scianna said.

Scianna said he had no knowledge of any complaints lodged against McCartney.



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