May 18, 2006

Man sues archdiocese, says convicted priest abused him

Chicago Tribune

By Margaret Ramirez
Tribune religion reporter
Published May 18, 2006

A Wheeling man filed a $250,000 civil lawsuit Wednesday against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, alleging that a priest molested him as a child and church officials purposefully hid the abuse from police and parishioners.

Keith Laarveld, 32, a former altar boy at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Wheeling, said he was repeatedly sexually abused by former priest Vincent McCaffrey from 1982 to 1986. Laarveld was between the ages of 8 and 12 at the time.

McCaffrey is serving a 20-year federal prison sentence for possession of child pornography. In court documents, he admitted to sexually abusing 40 children "hundreds and hundreds" of times.

He served as a priest in the Chicago archdiocese from 1978 through 1991, when the archdiocese removed him from ministry. He resigned the priesthood in 1993 and pleaded guilty to the child porn charges in 2002.

Posted by kshaw at May 18, 2006 05:45 AM