Five years ago, the investigation of child abuse cases at the Catholic Church in Illinois started. Recently, the Chicago Archdiocese revealed the name of the predatory clergy as the investigation allegedly neared its end and asserted that the church has nothing to hide.
Investigation of Catholic Church’s Clergies in Illinois
A report from Chicago Sun-Times stated that in August of 2018, Illinois’ Attorney General Lisa Madigan indicated that her office would be looking into the possibility that the Catholic church in the state had engaged in any illegal activity. Shortly after, it was announced they had completely exposed the scale of child sex abuse committed by priests and other clergy members. Cardinal Blase Cupich, a prominent member of the Catholic clergy, stated that the church possessed no secrets.
Cupich informed the group that the church had previously made the list of clergy members in the Archdiocese of Chicago who were believed to have been credibly suspected of sexual misconduct accessible to the public. However, based on the findings of the investigation revealed on Tuesday, May 23, by Madigan’s successor, Kwame Raoul, the claims that Cupich made were highly off base. Raoul stated that the archdiocese, which covers Cook and Lake counties, and the remaining branches of the Catholic Church in Illinois did not recognize numerous allegedly abusive clergy and other religious figures.
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Result of the Investigation
During an interview, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul explained that detectives discovered that members of the Catholic clergy in Illinois abused 1,997 kids between 1950 and 2019, Madison News reported. However, he recognized that the time limit of restrictions had passed in several instances and that the perpetrators of the abuse “will never see justice in a legal sense.” As mentioned, the investigation was initiated in 2018 by Raoul’s predecessor, Lisa Madigan, who, at the same time as she was about to leave office, she issued a scathing assessment. Raoul reportedly continued the investigation, and on Tuesday, May 23, he disclosed that 25 members of his team had gone through more than 100,000 pages of diocesan papers and had over 600 private conversations with acquaintances.
Moreover, Hawaii News reported that extensive research discovered church authorities in Illinois were painfully reluctant to accept the magnitude of the abuse. In addition, they are accused of regularly dragging their feet when confronting accused clergy and failing to alert worshippers about prospective abusers in their midst, sometimes even decades after charges first surfaced. The Catholic dioceses in the state published a unified statement on Friday, May 19, in which they stated that the inquiry by the attorney general sparked a multi-year assessment of their policies and modifications of an unknown nature.
On the other hand, on Monday, May 22, Cardinal Blase Cupich, the Archbishop of Chicago, stated the misconduct was “repugnant” but that the Catholic Church started modifying its policies and programs in 1992 and cooperated fully with the state’s assessment. Accordingly, the report devotes a significant portion of its content to personal testimonies of sexual abuse and lists of clergy members and religious brothers in each diocese accused of child sexual abuse. Some individuals named have gained notoriety due to legal actions or criminal investigations. One such individual is Father Daniel McCormack, who was accused of assaulting over a hundred children several decades before his conviction in 2006 for abusing five boys in Chicago.
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