Archdiocese faces new lawsuit over McCormack abuses

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Daniel McCormack stands in a security line at 26th and California to plead guilty to charges involving sexual abuse of five boys in July 2007. | Sun-Times file photo

The Archdiocese of Chicago was hit with another lawsuit Friday over alleged abuses committed by convicted child molester and defrocked priest Daniel McCormack.

The plaintiff, identified as John JW Doe, says he was about 10 when McCormack began sexually abusing him in 2002 at the West Side St. Agatha parish, according to the suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court. The abuse continued through 2005, the suit claims.

“The Archdiocese has not seen this lawsuit and does not comment on ongoing litigation, however, Daniel J. McCormack is no longer a priest,” an archdiocese spokeswoman said in an email Friday night. “He was removed from public ministry in February of 2006 and laicized (removed from the priesthood) in November 2007. No priest with even one substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor serves in ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago today.”

McCormack pleaded guilty in 2007 to abusing five other children at St. Agatha’s. He was sentenced to five years in prison and has been staying at a state-run mental health facility since his release from prison in 2009. A new set of criminal charges was filed against him in 2014.

The suit claims archdiocese officials knew about alleged abuses committed by McCormack as early as 1994 and failed to investigate or report them. It seeks more than $100,000 in damages.

An archdiocese attorney told the Sun-Times last year that a large portion of the pending priest sexual abuse litigation against the church — about 60 active cases — involved McCormack. Multimillion-dollar payouts over misconduct suits have contributed to financial woes forcing the archdiocese to close or consolidate dozens of parishes.

“The abuse of any child is a crime and a sin. The Archdiocese encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer, to come forward,” the spokeswoman said. Information on reporting sexual abuse can be found at www.archchicago.org or 312-534-5205.

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