Nearly 2,000 children sexually abused by Catholic clergy: Attorney General

Illinois — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raul has released a bombshell report listing the names of more than 400 Catholic priests, religious and clergy who allegedly abused 1,997 children in all six Catholic dioceses in Illinois. published a book.

Raoul said the report compiled multi-year research and detailed decades of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.


A nearly 700-page Attorney General report on child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in Illinois was released Tuesday, including detailed descriptions of the abuse, many of which were survivors based on experience. The official said it was written in consultation with

Sexual abuse in Joliet parish much more widespread than reported: AG

“I grew up in the Catholic Church, was confirmed, and sent my children to Catholic schools. I believe the Church does an important job in helping vulnerable people. But the Catholic Church, like any other institution with perhaps a good reputation, must be held accountable if it betrays the Church’s “public trust,” Raoul said in a statement. “These perpetrators may never be held accountable in court, but by uncovering their names here, we are providing a public account and the survivors who have suffered in silence for so long. The purpose is to provide some healing.”

The investigation began in 2018 under the oversight of former Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and continued when Raul was elected in 2020. Department of Justice investigators and attorneys reviewed 100,000 pages of documents and conducted 600 interviews with survivors.

The Attorney General’s report found that six Catholic dioceses in Illinois, including Belleville, Rockford, Joliet, Peoria, Springfield, and the Archdiocese of Chicago, listed 103 child sex abusers, compared to 103 Catholic clergy. and names of 451 monks. A substantiated claim is defined as an admission that a clergyman has violated a position of power and trust in order to sexually abuse a child.

Cardinal Brace Kupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago has retaliated against Raul’s allegations that the Catholic diocese of Illinois is “underreporting” allegations of child sexual abuse. “We have not investigated this report in detail, but we are concerned that the data may be misinterpreted or presented in a misleading manner,” the cardinal said.

Kupich went on to say in a bulleted list that the names of the 451 people “exposed” in the investigation were already listed on the websites of all six parishes. Furthermore, “everything was reported to the authorities, nothing was undisclosed, and at least nothing he had ‘hidden in sight’ since 2002.”

“The Attorney General himself distinguished between a parish and a congregation and said, ‘This is a parish inquiry, not an order,’ and he recognized the two as different things,” Kupich said. “But the total includes both.”

The Chicago Archdiocese’s list of indeed accused or convicted clergy also lists clergy found to be substantiated by the order, Kupich said.

“The Archdiocese of Chicago is cooperating fully with law enforcement, including the Attorney General’s investigation,” Kupich added. “We have interviewed employees and provided access to hundreds of thousands of documents.” I plan to consider it. In fact, the Archdiocese has already implemented many of the recommendations made by the Attorney General during the course of the investigation, such as expanding the parameters of the website list. ”

History of Complaint Responses

Prior to 1960, the Archdiocese of Chicago used a “confession model” to pardon priests who confessed to or were accused of sexually abusing children, according to reports, which usually included the identity of the confessor. It was held in a confessional room with screens to protect it. The Catholic clergy’s propensity to sexually abuse children was often viewed as morally flawed and weak.

From the 1960s to 1992, the Archdiocese of Chicago adopted this “treatment model” amid growing allegations of criminal sexual abuse by clergy, the report said. Priests accused of child sexual abuse underwent professional psychiatric evaluations and, if necessary, medical treatment.

According to the Attorney General’s report, “when priests were deemed ‘rehabilitated,’ clerics were put back into ministry.”

Key officials in new parishes were often not informed of the priest’s sexual abuse history, and many more victims, usually children, were searched and abused, the AG report argues.

In 1981, school officials at St. Edna Catholic Church in Arlington Heights wrote to the late Cardinal John Cody in 1982, and that all changed when the curate, Father John Cody, said: Robert Mayer removed his clothes and offered drugs and alcohol while interacting with his children. The letter also outlines other allegations of misconduct, including Mayer’s sexual advances on teens, lewd exposure, and drug and alcohol use of children. bottom.

Cody died in April 1982 and Joseph Bernardine was promoted to Cardinal College in August of the same year.

The report details how in 1983 the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardine installed a chaplain responsible for investigating allegations against priests, even though he had no training to investigate allegations against priests. ing.

In 1983, the archdiocese transferred Mayer to another parish, St Stephen in Des Plaines, according to the AG report. The archdiocese also settled a civil lawsuit in 1984 involving allegations of sexual abuse by Ms. Mayer against at least one of her children.

Mayer remained minister and was investigated by police in 1987 for alleged oral sexual contact with a child. The AG report states that Bernardin simply signed a pact ordering Mayer to avoid unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 21, and transferred Mayer back to St. Dionysius in 1990, appointing him pastor of St. claims to have done so.

A draft memo containing a message Cardinal Bernardine was to deliver to Mayer in 1991 noted that Mayer was “repeatedly the subject of sexual misconduct, and still.” [had] refused to fix [his] action. “Mr. Mayer was indicted by a grand jury in 1991 on aggravated sexual abuse charges against a child and eventually served time.

On October 25, 1991, Cardinal Bernardine wrote to local Catholics, admitting that the Archdiocese had made mistakes in its efforts to prevent child sexual abuse and promised not to repeat them. Therefore, in 1992, a nine-member independent review board was established, consisting of three lay people (psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker), three priests (including a parish priest), and three representatives from the whole Church. Configured. In addition to monitoring and restrictions, such as limiting clergy contact with children under the age of 21, the Review Board will review the treatment of predatory priests before the clergy return to service based on progress treatment reports. adopted a strict policy on

In 2002, Bernardine’s Independent Review Board was further amended to establish a stricter policy for dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse.

While important steps have been taken, Raul’s report contains 50 pages of recommended policies, and the Attorney General’s Office has issued additional recommendations to further improve its response to future child sexual abuse allegations. Dioceses are strongly encouraged to enact it. These recommendations relate to how parishes should communicate with and support survivors, how to investigate and make decisions related to allegations of abuse, disclosure and transparency protocols, mediation and compensation, and congregations. Everything from complaints to processing.

Ahead of Tuesday’s announcement, SNAP (Survivor Network for People Abused by Priests) released a written statement saying that a parish in Illinois last week accused children and vulnerable adults of being sexually abused by clergy. It said it had issued a “suddenly” news release detailing each parish’s policies and procedures to protect against.

SNAP thanked the Attorney General’s long-running investigation and the 600 survivors who cooperated with the AG’s investigation, but claimed it still believed the Catholic bishops lied.

“There is no doubt about the facts of the report. Until the investigation began in 2018, parish leaders in each Illinois parish kept known abusers a secret, refused to put them on whistleblower lists, and abused victims SNAP said in a statement, “We are asking them to produce a report to share with them. It is not clear that the supposed shepherds lied so blatantly.” is, in a word, offensive to us.” In short, it is arrogant that they believed that their lies would somehow remain secret even if secular investigations were conducted. We are grateful that their damned arrogance has been publicly exposed. ”

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