Cardinal George to give video deposition in priest’s abuse case

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Chicago Tribune

29 May 2014

Cardinal Francis George will give a video deposition today tied to multiple lawsuits against the archdiocese, alleging sexual abuse by former Roman Catholic priest and convicted sex offender Daniel McCormack.

Contrary to depositions George has given in the past, today’s interview could be included as evidence in upcoming trials. Marc Pearlman, one of the attorneys conducting the deposition, said the video could be used in the future if the cardinal becomes too ill to take the stand or leaves the city or country after he retires.

While George has said his death is not imminent and his public schedule has not lagged, he announced in March that doctors had discovered new cancer cells in his right kidney and he underwent chemotherapy.

The deposition covers multiple lawsuits, including one filed in December by Darryl McArthur, the first person to identify himself in a sex abuse allegation against McCormack.

McArthur’s lawsuit alleges that McCormack started abusing him in 1994 at St. Ailbe Parish, in the Calumet Heights neighborhood, shortly after McCormack was ordained and began his first assignment.

McCormack, now 45, was removed from the priesthood after pleading guilty in 2007 to charges of criminal sexual abuse involving five victims. He has been incarcerated in a state mental health facility since completing his five-year prison sentence. Last week, he was arrested again and held without bail in a detention center after a new allegation surfaced involving abuse that occurred in 2005.

A spokeswoman for the archdiocese confirmed the deposition was taking place, calling it a “routine part of the court process.”

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