CHICAGO — An Illinois attorney general’s office investigation released Tuesday found that 451 Catholic clergy sexually abused nearly 2,000 children in the state over a nearly 70-year period, which was more than four times the 103 individuals the church named when the state began its review in 2018.
Attorney General Kwame Raoul said at a news conference that investigators found that Catholic clergy abused 1,997 children in Illinois between 1950 and 2019, though he acknowledged that the statute of limitations has expired in many cases and that those abusers “will never see justice in a legal sense.”
“It is my hope that this report will shine light both on those who violated their positions of power and trust to abuse innocent children, and on the men in church leadership who covered up that abuse,” Raoul said, crediting the accusers for making the review possible. “These perpetrators may never be held accountable in a court of law, but by naming them here, the intention is to provide a public accountability and a measure of healing to survivors who have long suffered in silence.”
The lengthy report describes Illinois church leaders as woefully slow to acknowledge the extent of the abuse. It also accuses them of frequently dragging their feet to confront accused clergy and of failing to warn parishioners about possible abusers in their midst, sometimes even decades after allegations emerged about a clergy member.
The review began in 2018 under Raoul’s predecessor, Lisa Madigan, who released a blistering report as she prepared to leave office. Raoul committed to continuing the investigation, and he said Tuesday that 25 staff members reviewed more than 100,000 pages of diocesan documents and engaged in more than 600 confidential interactions with contacts.
Among those cited in the report are accusers who contemplated suicide after being abused, and who turned to drugs or alcohol in a bid to cope with “anxiety and feelings of unworthiness.” One survivor, referred to only as “David” in the report, said a priest’s sexual abuse of him as a child directly affected his career, financial wellbeing and ability to hold jobs. He told investigators he has “left, quit, or was fired from every job he’s ever had.”
“Survivors spoke of years, and often decades, struggling with challenges including insomnia, anxiety, trust issues, nightmares, suicidal ideation, guilt, addiction, alcoholism, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, issues creating and maintaining relationships, and sexual side effects,” according to the report.
In a statement released Tuesday, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests called the report “stunning” but emphasized that the numbers of victims and abusers cited by state investigators are likely undercounted.
There were five Catholics on the 2003 Smith V Doe Supreme Court panel including Justice Rehnquist ( WI). All voted in block form.In the 1990s, the Catholic church was in the news regularly with stories about cover ups of such things. It seems the frighteningly high perspective was a profile was built upon that perception concerning priestly behavior. Makes me glad I was raised Lutheran. Old Martin Luther was cast out of Catholic culture. The reasons why are relevant facts to the facts of this day. Martin believed women could be valuable assets to priest hood and Godliness. He recognized that repression of human talent and human potential was a sin of itself. Catholics believe otherwise and demand sexual repression from their very male human priests. We see the results. Why the people select so many Harvard U grads is beyond me. But the Mormons take notice of that fact. How could they not, given their very survival demands it. This is why the facilities around Saratoga Springs were built. They knew damn well Washington DC would be doing precisely what has been exposed via the peoples database use.
Let’s see –
Nearly 2,000 children in Illinois were sexually abused by Catholic clergy, state finds
I think with these statistics a child has a 96% more of a chance of being sexually abused by an adult member of the Catholic clergy than by a SO registered citizen.
Maybe they should make a registry of where Catholic churches are located.