Illinois Attorney General’s Report Reveals 451 Violent Clerics in State Catholic Church System Over Nearly 90 Years
More than 450 adult Catholic clerics abused nearly 2,000 children in the state of Illinois over a period of nearly 90 years, according to a report released Tuesday by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.
“This report reveals the names and detailed information of 451 Catholic clerics and religious brothers who abused at least 1,997 children across all dioceses in Illinois,” Raoul wrote in a message accompanying the report.
The investigation identified 275 allegedly violent clerics and religious brothers in the Archdiocese of Chicago, 43 in the Diocese of Belleville, 69 in Joliet, 51 in Peoria, 24 in Rockford and 32 in Springfield. Some accused abusers worked in multiple dioceses, equating to a “discreet” total of 451 accused, according to the report.
The report claims to have identified 149 individual perpetrators who had not previously been disclosed by the dioceses, and that the dioceses continued to publicly disclose the alleged perpetrators during the investigation.
The report contains detailed accounts of alleged sexual abuse, as well as lists of accused clerics. It concludes with recommendations for more uniform and coordinated sexual abuse investigations within the Illinois church, greater focus on survivors, and for dioceses to update their disclosures of alleged abusers.
A statement from Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, provided CNN with detailed “concerns” about the findings on Tuesday, and said all of the names disclosed in the report were already known to the church and made public.
The Diocese of Rockford apologized for “the pain endured by surviving victims of childhood sexual abuse” in a statement provided to CNN, and noted that Rockford was the only diocese where the report did not find additional names that needed to be disclosed.
The report “served as a reminder that some Church clergy have committed heinous and shameful sins against innocent victims and caused damage that simply cannot be undone,” the Diocese of Springfield said in a statement. communicated.
Bishop Michael McGovern of Belleville, in a statement, detailed the diocese’s work regarding child sexual abuse and noted that to their knowledge, no credibly accused abusers are currently working in the diocese.
The Diocese of Peoria said the community “has implemented significant changes that have made the Church safer for children,” in a statement emailed to CNN on Tuesday.
CNN has contacted the Diocese of Joliet for comment.