You are not signed in as a Premium user; you are viewing the free version of this program. Premium users have access to full-length programs with limited commercials and receive a 10% discount in the store! Sign up for only one day for the low cost of $1.99. Click the button below.
CHICAGO (ChurchMilitant.com) - A bombshell child sex abuse report in Illinois is revealing around 2,000 victims of assault at the hands of churchmen.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul released on Tuesday the long-awaited report of abuse in the Catholic dioceses of Illinois, which flowed from an initial investigation that began in 2018.
Raoul commented, "Before this investigation, the Catholic dioceses of Illinois publicly listed only 103 substantiated child sex abusers. By comparison, this report reveals names and detailed information of 451 Catholic clerics and religious brothers who abused at least 1,997 children across all of the dioceses in Illinois."
The 696-page report, titled "Report on Catholic Clergy Child Sex Abuse in Illinois," details the history of reported abuse in the state's Catholic dioceses from 1950–2019 and reveals that "horrifying, criminal, and unconscionable acts were inflicted upon survivors."
Attorney General Raoul lamented the findings, declaring:
Decades of Catholic leadership decisions and policies have allowed known child sex abusers to hide, often in plain sight. And because the statute of limitations has frequently expired, many survivors of child sex abuse at the hands of Catholic clerics will never see justice in a legal sense. It is my hope that this report will shine light both on those who violated their positions of power and trust to abuse innocent children, and on the men in church leadership who covered up that abuse. These perpetrators may never be held accountable in a court of law, but by naming them here, the intention is to provide a public accountability and a measure of healing to survivors who have long suffered in silence.
The archdiocese of Chicago accounted for 275 of the 494 substantiated child abusers in the document, with other Illinois dioceses making up the rest of the numbers: 43 from Belleville, 69 from Joliet, 51 from Peoria, 24 from Rockford and 32 from Springfield.
The report states:
To their credit, the Illinois Dioceses worked closely with the Attorney General's investigators in an effort to understand the Attorney General's concerns — and, most importantly, their effect on survivors, both those who have come forward and those who, for whatever reason, have not. As a result, the dioceses revised certain policies to eliminate, or at least reduce, the negative effects of prior policies on survivors.
This comes after the dioceses of Illinois last week released a joint summary of their processes for handling sex-abuse allegations.
The dioceses relayed:
Over the past four years, the Illinois dioceses have worked with the Office of the Illinois Attorney General to improve the transparency and effectiveness of their policies. Prompted by the Attorney General's investigation, the dioceses have critically reviewed current policies and implemented certain recommended changes to their existing reporting to the public to further increase transparency.
In the same report, Cdl. Blase Cupich proclaimed, "The Catholic Church in Illinois has been at the forefront of dealing with sexual abuse of minors for many years."
Chicago's cardinal credits deceased homopredator Cdl. Joseph Bernardin for implementing policies in the archdiocese that "formed the basis" for the 2002 bishop-protecting Dallas Charter.
According to a statement by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), "According to the report, more than 450 priests have abused nearly 2000 children in Illinois since 1950. These numbers are at once staggering and, unfortunately, likely an undercount."
SNAP's press release continued:
And let us be clear, in our view the bishops lied. There is no questioning the facts of the report — until 2018 when the investigation began, hierarchs in every Illinois diocese kept known abusers under wraps, declined to include them on their accused lists, and refused to acknowledge the truth that survivors of abuse who came forward to make a report shared with them. It is to us, in a word, disgusting that these supposed shepherds would lie so blatantly. It is, in a word, arrogant that they believed their lies would somehow remain secret even in the face of a secular investigation. We are grateful that their disgusting arrogance has now been publicly exposed.
The investigation into the Illinois dioceses began in 2018 by the state's former attorney general, Lisa Madigan.
In the same year, around the time she left office, Madigan announced her investigation found child sex abuse accusations against at least 500 priests and clergymen in Illinois.
Have a news tip? Submit news to our tip line.