Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul released on Tuesday a 696-page report that revealed how rampant child sex abuse was among Catholic clergy within the state: more than 450 clergyman abused over 1,900 children over a period of 90 years. More than 100,000 pages of diocesan documents and 600 confidential contacts with survivors of child sex abuse were used to piece the findings together.
“It is my hope that this nearly 700-page report will provide some closure to survivors of child sex abuse by Catholic clerics by shining a light both on those who violated their positions of power and trust, and on the individuals in church leadership who covered up that abuse,” Raoul said in a statement.
The Catholic dioceses of Illinois publicly listed only 103 substantiated child sex abusers. The investigation covered all six Illinois dioceses — Chicago, Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield — which serve the state’s 3.5 million Catholics. Investigators substantiated child sex abuse allegations against 451 clerics and religious brothers. The largest number of abusers was in Chicago, where there were 150 reported, and Joliet, with 52 reported. Since some reported abusers were registered in two dioceses, there were a total of 494 substantiated abusers overall.
The report concludes with recommendations for more uniform and coordinated investigations of sexual abuse, greater care for survivors, and for the dioceses to update their disclosures.
Raoul’s predecessor, former Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, began an investigation in 2018 after a Pennsylvania grand jury report documented the abuse of 1,000 minors in six dioceses in that state. The revelations in that report shocked dioceses nationwide and led to numerous state attorneys general looking into alleged abuses in their own states.
Discussion about this post