Chicago Clergy Sexual Abuse Settlement Reached

The Archdiocese of Chicago announced a $12.6 million settlement for 16 survivors of sexual assault by priests. Along with the financial settlement, the Archdiocese of Chicago also awarded survivors private apologies and a public apology by Cardinal Francis George, USA Today reports.

In the public apology, George said he hoped the settlements would help survivors and their families recover and continue their lives. For the future, George said, “We must continue to do everything in our power to ensure the safety of the children in our care,” according to the Associated Press.

A deposition made by Cardinal Francis George in the latest lawsuits was made public. In this statement, George conceded that he should have removed Daniel McCormack, a priest who had abused five children, at the recommendation of the archdiocese review board after McCormack’s arrest in 2005. Two of the 16 cases relate to accusations against McCormack.

Survivor Therese Albrecht, 48, said of her abuse and the settlement case, “I’m very grateful I survived this. I didn’t think I would.” Albrecht had been raped and sodomized by Rev. Joseph R. Bennett as a child. When she reported her abuse as an adult, she felt the Archdiocese did not believe her claims, the Associated Press reports.


Associated Press, 8/13/08; USA Today, 8/13/08; Archdiocese of Chicago, 8/14/08

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