On Wednesday our law firm filed a lawsuit in Chicago against the Vatican. The lawsuit is an attempt to hold Vatican officials accountable for their direct role in covering up the sexual abuse of children perpetrated by Fr. Daniel McCormack.
Some wonder why we filed this suit. After all, didn’t the Archdiocese of Chicago settle with this survivor?
Archdiocese of Chicago 2008 Settlement
Yes, it’s true that the survivor in this case was part of a 2008 settlement with the Archdiocese of Chicago. In fact, as part of its settlement the Archdiocese promised to produce and publically disclose the files of offenders.
The Archdiocese claims they were “surprised” by the lawsuit and has not released these documents because our law firm hasn’t taken “required steps” through mediation to compel them to do so. It is my belief that the Archdiocese of Chicago is not interested in public exposure and after three years of trying to extract these secret files we hold little hope it will be done. The only way to achieve justice and child protection is through the courts requiring accountability.
Under the Vatican’s Direct Control
But this case is not about the Archdiocese of Chicago. This case is about the Vatican and the direct role it had in allowing Daniel McCormack to remain a priest and the so many others who secretly roam the globe preying upon our children.
As I reflect on this case, I too have questions:
For a religion premised on the teachings of Christ and His love for all people, why are those teachings abandoned when it comes to the protection of children?
Men like Cardinal Francis George and his lieutenants receive promotions after covering up for priests they know to be abusers. Why does the Vatican continue now as it has in the past?
Vatican protocols mandate that knowledge about pedophile priests are kept secret. Why is it that the Vatican’s policies protect known molesters and not children?
These are the questions that plague us and scare us daily as business at the top continues as usual. In this case we seek answers and accountability from the Vatican directly.