Priest didn’t admit abuse until clemency hearing
BY ART GOLAB Staff Reporter January 21, 2014 11:16AM
The Rev. Norbert Maday served 20 years in prison for abusing two teenage boys. | Sun-Times
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Updated: January 21, 2014 6:21PM
In 1994, the Rev. Norbert Maday a former associate pastor at Our Lady of the Ridge Parish in Chicago Ridge, was sentenced 20 years in prison for molesting two teenage boys in separate 1986 parish outings to Oshkosh, Wis.
Maday claimed he was innocent at the trial. Since his conviction, other victims have come forward with allegations dating to the 1970s, and documents show that archdiocese officials often visited Maday, telephoned him or mailed details of the new allegations to him. In response, Maday denied some incidents, disputed various details or said he didn’t know the accusers according to church memos.
In one handwritten letter headed “Greetings all Good in the Name of Jesus,” Maday stated “Regarding the cases you presented, I have a clear conscience since I did nothing immoral nor illegal with regard to those whose names you brought up.”
However in a telephone interview, Maday once “generally admitted to ‘tummy rubbing,’ giving back rubs and ‘grabbing a leg,’ all activities he stated he performed on minor youths at St. Bede,” a church memo recorded.
“However, NM stated that he performed these activities to be affectionate. rather than to achieve sexual gratification. ‘If I gave a back rub. I gave it to all the students.’ He also admits to giving belly slaps but states that be would slap boys’ bellies ‘out of camaraderie or fooling around.’ “
In several cases, the Archdiocese Professional Fitness Review Board found “that there is reasonable cause to suspect that Norbert Maday engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor,” and settlements were made with some of the complaining victims.
During a clemency hearing in 2000, “One of the board members asked Father Maday directly and very strongly whether he admits that he sexually assaulted these boys. This board member repeated his question a second time. Father Maday admitted he sexually assaulted these boys. Jerry Boyle (Maday’s attorney) said it was the first time Norb admitted publicly that he sexually abused boys,” a church official wrote.
“I feel the clemency hearing did not go very well,” the official wrote.
Correspondence showed that for years the Archdiocese worked to free Maday before serving his full sentence. But as more allegations piled up Cardinal Francis George in 2007 decided to dismiss Maday from the priesthood and wrote a letter to the Wisconsin Parole Commission withdrawing an earlier offer to to provide provide monitoring and a place for Maday if he were to be released.
Maday has since completed his 20-year prison term, but was being held indefinitely as a sexual predator. However, he asked a Wisconsin judge to release him to a special treatment center for priests arguing that the removal of his prostate has left him with the “sexual drive ... the equivalent of a 5-year-old boy.”
He was released last July at age 75 as a registered sex offender and is living in Oshkosh under electronic monitoring, according to media reports.