On Tuesday, Sept. 17, the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago confirmed that it has paid out $220 million to settle priest sex abuse claims, and that it may end up paying an additional $156 million, reported the Chicago Tribune.
The archdiocese also disclosed that it is able to pay out such large sums because it has sold property it no longer uses.
At a press conference in the Windy City on Tuesday, attorney Jeff Anderson discussed a recent settlement of $80 million for seven victims and involving five former priests of the archdiocese. Several of the victims, now in their 60s, spoke at the press conference.
Joe Iacono, 68, "said the Rev. Thomas Francis Kelly abused him when he was 11 and a parishioner at St. John Vianney in Northlake," reported The Tribune. "Kelly, who died in 1990, is listed by the archdiocese as a clergy member with substantiated claims of sexual misconduct."
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Iacono said of coming forward. “If we can help someone else, it’s all worth it.”
“What survivors need to know is that they can come forward, they can get help, they can be believed and they can do something to protect other kids in the future,” said attorney Anderson.
In addition to the $220 million already paid out, the archdiocese told The Tribune in July that "the cost of anticipated additional settlements could be about $156 million."
“A lot of good strides are being made, but we’ve just got to get this monkey off our backs from perverts from 30 years ago," said Finance Council Chairman Ed Wehmer.
"And, indeed, claims go back decades for all five priests for whom the archdiocese reached settlements," said The Tribune. "The five priests already appear on the archdiocese’s list of clergy with substantiated claims of sexual misconduct. All five were removed from ministry or defrocked, three are deceased and two have been convicted of sex crimes against children."
Those five priests are Daniel McCormack, John William Curran, Edward J. Maloney, Robert D. Craig and Robert E. Mayer.