Suit: Man abused by convicted priest suing archdiocese

By Leeann Shelton
April 22, 2014

A man filed a lawsuit Friday against the Archdiocese of Chicago, claiming he was sexually abused by convicted former Catholic priest Daniel McCormack at a West Side parish in 2005.

The plaintiff, listed in the lawsuit as John C. Doe, was 12 when McCormack began abusing him in the spring of 2005, he claims in the suit, which was filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court.

The boy lived across the street from St. Agatha’s Parish, where McCormack was a pastor, teacher and coach, the suit said. McCormack would ask him to help with chores around the parish in exchange for the boy playing pick-up basketball games.

The plaintiff, who is now in his early 20s, alleges the sexual abuse continued through late fall of 2005, according to the suit.

McCormack was arrested in January 2006. He was removed from the priesthood in November 2007 and pleaded guilty that year to abusing five children while he was a parish priest at St. Agatha, the Sun-Times previously reported.

“This is a case about the Archdiocese’s repeated failure to take action against a known sexual abuser, allowing McCormack unfettered access to hundreds of children whose lives are now forever changed,” the plaintiff’s attorney, Lyndsay Markley, said in a release.

Friday’s lawsuit claims the archdiocese did not properly monitor or restrict McCormack’s interactions with minors even after they had received numerous reports of inappropriate behavior involving the then-priest.

The suit names the archdiocese and Cardinal Francis George as defendants, and seeks at least $150,000 in damages.

“No priest with even one substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor serves in ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago today,” archdiocese spokeswoman Susan Burritt said in a statement responding to the suit.

“The abuse of any child is a crime and a sin,” Burritt said. “The Archdiocese encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer, to come forward.”



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