Attorneys for a victim of convicted pedophile and former Roman Catholic priest Daniel McCormack said they have reached a $3.2 million settlement with the Archdiocese of Chicago and Cardinal Francis George.
Chicago-based law firms Hilfman & Martin and Abels & Annes announced the agreement Tuesday.
The settlement was actually awarded in August but the lawyers were obligated to wait 90 days to disclose.
“He’s relieved and he’s happy," said the victim's lawyer, William Martin. "He’s lived through some really tough times. Fortunately he’s received some quality counseling to get through it” “He’s happy to have that level of acknowledgment and this part of it behind him”
The plaintiff was one of five victims McCormack admitted to abusing when he pleaded guilty in 2007. The victim was 10 to 12 years old during the abuse.
The lawsuit claimed church leaders failed to keep McCormack away from children even though they knew he had sexually abused minors.
“He (Cardinal George) is basically the executive, the judiciary and the legislature for this Arch Diocese," Martin said. "He had the opportunity, he had the responsibility himself directly and through personal, to remove McCormack from access to children so he wouldn’t abuse, so he was responsible”
The Archdiocese released a statement shortly after word went out.
"The Archdiocese of Chicago does not comment on specific details of settlements in clergy misconduct cases out of respect for the privacy of all involved. Victims-survivors are free to speak about their situations and the Archdiocese respects their right to make public the details of their settlements, if they choose to do so. With this settlement, all five of the claims to which McCormack pled guilty have been resolved.
The Archdiocese affirms its long-standing practice of reaching out to all victims of misconduct by clergy to resolve their claims in a just, compassionate and respectful way and continues to work for the healing of all those affected by the tragedy of child and adolescent sexual abuse. "
In a statement, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said that while "no amount of money will restore the innocence that McCormick [sic] stole from this brave victim," it hopes the settlement "will enable the victim to reach his full potential as his future unfolds."
"We are grateful that McCormack is not walking the streets where he could access additional children," the group said.
McCormack served 2 1/2 years of a five-year sentence. He remains in a mental health facility under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act.
The now 18-year-old victim is hopeful for the future.
"It’s an end for the litigations, but the beginning of his life," Martin said. "We’re cautiously optimistic that he is going to do well. He has great family and great goals”