The Sift Here’s what we’re Sifting today

500 more Catholic clergymen accused of abuse in Illinois

by Kent Covington
Posted 12/20/18, 11:01 am

The Illinois attorney general’s office found that 500 more Catholic clergymen have been accused of sexually abusing children than the six archdioceses in the state have publicly identified, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Wednesday. The archdioceses listed 185 clergy members as having been “credibly” accused of child sexual abuse, she said, but the actual total is around 700. “By choosing not to thoroughly investigate allegations, the Catholic Church has failed in its moral obligation to provide survivors, parishioners, and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois,” Madigan said in a statement. “The failure to investigate also means that the Catholic Church has never made an effort to determine whether the conduct of the accused priests was ignored or covered up by superiors.” The attorney general’s office said the archdiocese did a woefully inadequate job of investigating accusations and in some cases didn’t notify state child welfare workers of the allegations.

“I want to express again the profound regret of the whole church for our failures to address the scourge of clerical sexual abuse,” Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, said Thursday in a statement. “There can be no doubt about the constant need to strengthen our culture of healing, protection, and accountability. While the vast majority of abuses took place decades ago, many victim-survivors continue to live with this unimaginable pain.”

Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email