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Vincent McCaffrey

Paid $81,000 to leave the priesthood

Serving 15-year prison sentence, potentially 100 victims

The Vincent McCaffery file reveals the classic pattern of transferring a priest to numerous different parishes after allegations of abuse surfaced. McCaffrey was accused and found to have engaged in abuse at every parish where he served. Instead of turning him into the police, the Archdiocese simply moved him to another parish where he abused more kids. In his criminal trial for possession of child pornography, McCaffrey admitted to abusing more children than he could count, but placed the number over 100 victims.

McCaffrey admitted that he knew he was a pedophile when he was a theology student in 1976. By 1980, McCaffrey is in treatment, and fellow priests were troubled about McCaffrey’s “other problem.” McCaffrey testified that the Archdiocese was aware of his problems.

Despite its knowledge, the Archdiocese was keen on ordaining McCaffrey and keeping him in ministry long after it had multiple reports regarding McCaffrey’s abusive behavior. By 1987, McCaffrey was busted by the cops for giving boys alcohol and molesting them. The parents agreed to not file charges as long as the Archdiocese “did something about the problem.” Less than 6 months later, McCaffrey was out of treatment and back in a parish. Within a year, he was taking boys skiing. Despite more allegations, McCaffrey continued to be assigned to new parishes with the blessing of the Archdiocese where he would continue his abuse.

By the time McCaffrey was put on leave in 1991, Cardinal Bernardin gave the priest a list of defense lawyers. When the announcement is made to the parish, there is no mention of abuse. McCaffrey resigned in 1993 and was given $81,000 in a “settlement” to leave the priesthood.

In 2003, McCaffrey was sentenced to 15 years in prison for obtaining and possessing child pornography. In a November 2007 deposition, Bishop Raymond Goedert admitted to knowing that McCaffrey was sexually abusing kids as early as 1987 and that McCaffrey had problems dating back to his seminary days.

TIMELINE OF DOCUMENTS - VINCENT MCCAFFREY

1976                McCaffrey testifies in 2002 that he identified himself as a pedophile as a second year theology student in 1976. (AOC 004069)

6/15/77 – Deacon, Our Lady Help of Christians

1977/78           According to court testimony in 2002, McCaffrey molested a 14 year old at the Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in the rectory. The abuse consisted of fondling while the minor was sleeping in the same bed as McCaffrey. (AOC 003910)

1976-1978       According to a 2004 Report, McCaffrey sexually abused a minor by touching his groin area over clothing while sleeping with him and watching the minor take a shower. (AOC 004170)

1976-1979       According to 2004 Report, McCaffrey sexually abused a minor on numerous occasions between 1976 and 1979. The abuse consisted of mutual oral sex. (AOC 004173)

1978 – Ordained

6/12/78 – Associate Pastor, St. Victor, Calumet City

1970s               According to 1999 Report, McCaffrey sexually abused a minor at St. Victor’s. The abuse consisted of exposing himself, oral sex and the consumption of alcohol and was reported to the parish by the minor’s parents. (AOC 004162)

1978                According to testimony in 2002, McCaffrey learned he had a problem controlling his sexual activities in 1978 when he acted out sexually with adolescent boys. (AOC 004015, 4016) According to 1999 Report, McCaffrey got a seventh grade student intoxicated and sexually abused him at St. Victor’s parish rectory and on camping trips. The abuse consisted of fondling and oral sex. (AOC 003873)

1978 – 1979    According to a 2004 Report, McCaffrey sexual abused a minor approximately 50 times at the rectory, a parish in Roseland, Illinois, during an overnight stay at a seminary and on a camping trip. The abuse consisted of fondling and was reported to the parish in 1979. (AOC 003875)

According to 1993 report, McCaffrey sexually abused a minor when he was in the seventh or eighth grade at St. Victor’s parish. (AOC 003877)

According to 2002 testimony, McCaffrey got a 13 year old boy intoxicated and sexually abused him in the rectory. The abuse consisted of fondling the minor’s genitals on one occasion. McCaffrey attempted to molest the child on two other occasions. (AOC 003912)

1980 – Patient, Resurrection Hospital

1980 - Guest House, Rochester, Minnesota

1980 – Our Lady of Loretto, Hometown, Illinois

11/25/80          Letter from Father Jim O’Connor, Chairman of the Personnel Board for clergy to Vicar General Father J.R. Keating asking for a reconsideration of the appointment of McCaffrey and stating that at the time of his appointment O’Connor was unaware of his “other problem” and that the “situation is bad” (AOC 004180-AOC 004183)

1980-1982       According to a 2004 Report, McCaffrey sexually abused a boy between 1980 and 1982. (AOC 003874)

1/12/81            Letter from Archbishop of Chicago to McCaffrey stating that “he is certain [McCaffrey] will soon be able to return to fine priestly work.” (AOC 004187)

1/14/81            Letter to McCaffrey from Father James O’Connor in which O’Connor expresses apprehension about McCaffrey returning to Our Lady of Loretto and stating “you often tried to con me here. I knew what was going on. I’m not that dumb.” (AOC 004184, 4185)

1/22/81            Letter to McCaffrey from Father James O’Connor stating that another abuse allegation has arisen and that he cannot return to Our Lady of Loretto. (AOC 004186) According to a 2003 Report, McCaffrey sexually abused a minor on overnight stays in the rectory and at cottages in Wisconsin between 1977 and 1987. The abuse consisted of providing the minor with alcohol, talking about sex, exposing himself and fondling the minor’s genitals. (AOC 004166)

1982 – Associate Pastor, St. Joseph the Worker Church, Wheeling, Illinois

1980s               According to a 2003 Report, McCaffrey sexually abused a minor on four occasions - in a sauna, while camping, in the rectory and in a house. (AOC 004159)

1982                According to a 2004 Report, McCaffrey sexually abused a minor by straddling the minor and rubbing his genitals against the minor’s. (AOC 004167)

1982                According to a 2003 Report, McCaffrey sexually abused a minor at least 100 times over 4 years. The abuse consisted of fondling over and under clothing and inappropriate touching. (AOC 004168)

According to testimony in 2002, McCaffrey sexually abused a minor at St. Joseph the Worker from approximately 1982 to 1984. The abuse consisted of fondling on approximately 20 occasions. (AOC 003928 – AOC 003932)

According to testimony in 2002, McCaffrey sexually abused a minor at the rectory at St. Joseph the Worker (AOC 003941)

1983                According to 2003 Report, McCaffrey sexually abused a minor between 1983 and 1984 on multiple occasions. The abuse consisted of fondling of genitals. (AOC 004165)

1984                According to 2002 Report, McCaffrey sexually abused a minor at least twenty-five times in and around the rectory at St. Joseph the Worker. (AOC 004157)

3/3/87              Letter from Vicar of Priests to Archdiocese stating that McCaffrey will be on leave of medical reasons and to continue his salary, medical and auto insurance coverage until further notice. (AOC 004179)

3/4/87              Note indicating that Jim O’Connor was called to police station because McCaffrey had gotten a boy drunk and sexually abused him. The boy’s parents reported the abuse but agreed not to sign the complaint as long as something was done about the problem. At the time, police in Calumet City indicated that McCaffrey had 3-4 charges of sexual misconduct against him. (AOC 004127, AOC 004128)

5/87 – Patient, St. Luke Institute

11/12/87          McCaffrey returned to the diocese and is transferred to St. Josaphat where Dom Grassi will act as his supervisor. (AOC 004129)

12/15/87          Letter from Cardinal Bernadin to McCaffrey appointing him as Associate Pastor of St. Josaphat and asking him to keep in touch with the Vicar for Priests on a regular basis. (AOC 004178)

12/15/87 – Associate Pastor, St. Josaphat, Chicago, Illinois

1987                According to 2003 Report, McCaffrey sexually abused a minor two times in the rectory and in a cabin when the minor was in the 7th or 8th grade. The abuse was reported to the diocese. (AOC 004158)

According to 2007 Report, McCaffrey sexually abused a minor beginning the 4th or 5th grade through the 7th or 8th grade in the mid to late-1980s. The abuse consisted of fondling, forcing minors to disrobe so that he could fondle their genitals, sleeping in bed with the minor and spooning, fondling and holding him. (AOC 004155- AOC 004156)

4/15/88            McCaffrey takes a boy skiing without supervision. (AOC 004129)

7/11/88            Dom Grassi reports that McCaffrey is being demanding, irritable and difficult to deal with in the rectory. (AOC 004129)

3/30/89            Parents report that McCaffrey invited two 12 year old boys to his car to have sex games. (AOC 004129)

4/6/89              Memo regarding meeting with McCaffrey to respond to allegations made by anonymous caller and decision that McCaffrey be moved from St. Josaphat the upcoming June and the parents appeased that he will not seek another associate pastor assignment. (AOC 004125)

5/27/89            Letter from Raymond Goedert to Cardinal Bernadin requesting a transfer of Vince McCaffrey because of anonymous phone call referencing Vince and alleged misconduct with young boys. (AOC 004123)

6/5/89              Letter from Cardinal Bernadin to McCaffrey appointing him to Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish and thanking in for his presence at St. Josephat. (AOC 004178)

6/13/89 – Associate Pastor, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Chicago, Illinois

9/8/89              Letter from Vicar of Priests Goedert to Cardinal Bernadin stating that the Archdiocese “would be almost obligated … to help [McCaffrey] prepare for a job in the lay world” and have an obligation to contribute financially to his education.

2/8/91              Pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel concerned about McCaffrey’s behavior and relationships with teenage boys. (AOC 004130)

10/29/91          McCaffrey resigned orally. Assignment at parish terminated. AOC 004175- AOC 004176)

11/17/91          Memo to Vicar for Priests re: McCaffrey meeting with the Cardinal to discuss his resignation. The memo states that the Cardinal offered to help with the transition and that McCaffrey was given a list of lawyers to choose from.

12/26/91          Letter from Cardinal Bernadin to McCaffrey indicating that his letter of resignation had not been received and that he is prohibited from exercising priestly ministry due to “incapacitating psychological difficulties” and warning that if a resignation is not received by 1/1/1992, Bernadin will require McCaffrey to move into Vianney Residence. (AOC 004175)

Statement to be read to parishioners regarding McCaffrey leaving the parish. No indication of his dangerous propensities. (AOC 004177)

1/6/93 – Administrative leave

1/8/93              Salary reduced (AOC 004131)

11/22/93          Settlement agreement reached between McCaffrey and the Catholic Bishop of Chicago. Terms of agreement include continued payment totaling $81,500 in exchange for McCaffrey’s resignation and agreement that he never apply to work with children.

12/1/93            Letter from Cardinal Bernadin to McCaffrey accepting request to resign from active ministry, effective immediately. (AOC 004174)

12/1/93 – leaves active ministry

1994-2002       McCaffrey attending regular medical patient treatment program at Issac Ray Center with Dr. Johnathon Kelly. (AOC 003983)

12/9/02            Evidentiary hearing pursuant to sentencing of McCaffrey for sexual abuse of minors. McCaffrey admitted to possessing a thousand images of child pornography (AOC 003953), that he had a hundred sexual contacts with males under the age of 18. (AOC 003985) and had sexually molested little children in his care hundreds of times. (AOC 004060- AOC 004061)

5/23/03            Letter from Cardinal George to McCaffrey telling him to voluntarily petition for laicization or his file will be sent to the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith with a request to laicize. (AOC 003871)

10/3/07            According to a 2007 Report, McCaffrey sexually abused a minor during trips to McCaffrey’s cabin and out-of town trips. The abuse consisted of fondling when the minor was between the fourth and seventh grade. (AOC 004133)

8/15/08            The petition to laicize McCaffrey was forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith to be reviewed by the Pope. (AOC 004154)

10/4/10            According to a 2010 Report, McCaffrey sexually abused a minor while the minor was a high school student. The abuse consisted of fondling and oral sex and occurred at McCaffrey’s condo and out-of-town trips. (AOC 004145)