Archdiocese to pay 4 claiming abuse by priest

By Cathleen Falsani
Chicago Sun-Times
July 10, 2003

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has agreed to pay four men who claim they were sexually abused by a former Roman Catholic priest a $4 million settlement, lawyers for the men announced Wednesday.

The four men, who now range in age from 30 to 40, say they were all sexually molested many times by Vincent McCaffrey, 50, a former archdiocese priest who is serving a 20-year federal prison sentence for possession of child pornography. The abuse spanned more than a decade from the late 1970s, said Jeffrey Anderson of St. Paul, Minn., one of the men's attorneys.

Eddie Vincent, 31, of Venice, Calif., who is the only one of the four men to file a lawsuit and the only one to come forward publicly, said McCaffrey abused him on at least 25 occasions between 1984 and 1985. At the time, McCaffrey was serving at St. Joseph the Worker parish in Wheeling, where Vincent was an altar boy.

His lawsuit accused the archdiocese of knowing about McCaffrey's abusive behavior and allowing him to continue in active ministry.

McCaffrey, who was removed from ministry in 1991 because of abuse allegations, has admitted to molesting 12 to 14 boys.

"Nothing representatives of the archdiocese can do today can make up for the abuse inflicted on victims of clerical sexual misconduct," said Jimmy Lago, chancellor of the Chicago Archdiocese.


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