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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Attorney general concludes Illinois Catholic clergy sex-abuse investigation
2023-05-24

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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul released a comprehensive report detailing decades of child sex abuse by members of the Catholic clergy in the state.

The report concludes a multi-year investigation into child sex abuse by members of the clergy in all six Catholic dioceses in Illinois. Raoul's 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 nearly 700-page report features detailed narrative accounts of child sex abuse committed by Catholic clerics. Many of the narratives were written in consultation with survivors, are based upon their experiences, and told from the survivor's point of view. Although the report formally concludes the investigation the Attorney General's office opened in 2018, it contains 50 pages of the office's recommendations to the dioceses for the handling of future child sex abuse allegations.

"I was raised and confirmed in the Catholic church and sent my children to Catholic schools. I believe the church does important work to support vulnerable populations; however, as with any presumably reputable institution, the Catholic church must be held accountable when it betrays the public's trust," Raoul said "It is my hope that this nearly 700-page report will provide some closure to survivors of child sex abuse by Catholic clerics by shining a light both on those who violated their positions of power and trust, and on the individuals in church leadership who covered up that abuse," Raoul said. "These perpetrators may never be held accountable in a court of law, but by naming them here, the intention is to provide a public accounting and a measure of healing to survivors who have long suffered in silence."

Before Raoul's investigation, the Catholic dioceses of Illinois publicly listed only 103 substantiated child sex abusers. Attorneys and investigators in Raoul's office reviewed more than 100,000 pages of documents held by the dioceses and received more than 600 confidential contacts from survivors through emails, letters, interviews and phone calls. Raoul's office also worked closely to record accounts of the survivor experiences of children who were sexually abused by clerics.

Raoul's report contains detailed descriptions of child sex abuse, assault and trauma. Resources for survivors of child sex abuse can also be found in Attorney General Raoul's report.

"The Attorney General's Report on Catholic Clergy Child Sex Abuse in Illinois" is at clergyreport.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/ .

—Andrew Davis


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