The Illinois State Attorney’s Office has discovered in an investigation that more than 450 Catholic priests in this US state sexually abused nearly 2,000 children since 1950, which is far more than the Church has ever officially acknowledged.
Attorney General of Illinois Kwame Raoul said at a press conference on Tuesday that most of the cases were already time-barred. He said yes they are investigators found that 451 Catholic priests in Illinois abused 1,997 children between 1950 and 2019. He admitted that most of the cases were time-barred and that they would not be able to prosecute the violators.
“I hope this report will enlighten both those who they are violated their position of power and trust and abused innocent children as well as men in church leadership who they are covered up these abuses,” said Raoul.
The investigation began in 2018 under Raoul’s predecessor, Lisa Madigan, who released a comprehensive report as she prepared to leave the post. Raoul continued the investigation, saying on Tuesday that 25 employees had reviewed more than 100,000 pages of diocesan documents and participated in more than 600 confidential contacts with interlocutors.
A long report describes that they are Church leaders in Illinois have been slow to acknowledge the extent of the abuse. He also accuses them of they are often procrastinated confrontation with the accused priests and they did not warn the believers against possible abuses.
Catholic Diocese of Illinois they are in a joint statement in anticipation of the report already announced on Friday that the investigation prompted a multi-year review of their policies and changes.
Notoriety of some priests
Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich on Monday called the abuse disgusting. He added that the Church began revising its policies and programs in 1992 and fully cooperated with the investigation.
Some priests they are have become notorious for criminal prosecutions or lawsuits, including Daniel McCormack, who was accused of more than 100 abuses by five boys in the decades before his arrest in 2006. McCormack pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison. When he was first arrested in 2005, an archdiocesan review board recommended he be removed from the priesthood, but then-Cardinal Francis George refused.
A network of survivors who they are were abused by priests, called the report astonishing, while emphasizing that the number of victims and perpetrators, cited by Raoul, probably too low. The group also urged state and local officials to conduct similar reviews.
“The facts in the report are not in question – until 2018, when the investigation began, they are leaders in every diocese in Illinois hid known abusers, refused to include them on their lists of accused, and refused to admit the truth that they are was shared with them by victims of abuse,” the group announced.
The Illinois Catholic Conference states that the 3.5 million Catholics represent about 27 percent of the total population of Illinois, that the Church maintains 949 parishes and has 2,215 priests, 1,372 deacons and 260 religious brothers.