Big clerical sexual abuse cover-up in Illinois, USA

This 19 December 2018 video from the USA is called 500 more Illinois priests accused of abuse.

From CNN in the USA:

Illinois AG says Catholic Church failed to disclose abuse accusations against 500 priests and clergy

By Daniel Burke, CNN Religion Editor

Updated 0003 GMT (0803 HKT) December 20, 2018

In yet another blow to the Catholic Church in the United States, Illinois’ attorney general says the state’s six dioceses have failed to disclose accusations of sexual abuse against at least 500 priests and clergy members.

Illinois’ dioceses have released lists publicly identifying 185 clergy members who had been credibly accused of child sex abuse. But state Attorney General Lisa Madigan said preliminary findings in her ongoing investigation reveal that the church failed to disclose sexual abuse allegations against at least 500 additional priests and clergy members.

In many cases, the accusations have “not been adequately investigated by the dioceses or not investigated at all”, Madigan’s office said in a statement Wednesday. What’s more, the statement added, the church often failed to notify law enforcement authorities or state Department of Children and Family Services about the allegations.

“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 the 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.”

Madigan began her investigation in August, after a Pennsylvania grand jury released a 900-page report detailing horrific abuses by 300 Catholic clergy against more than 1,000 victims. Since then, 36 dioceses have publicized self-reported lists of clergy “credibly accused” of abusing minors. (There are 197 dioceses in the United States.)

But advocates for survivors of sexual abuse have challenged many of the lists, calling them incomplete or evasive. Few of the lists detail exactly when the abuse claims were made, or what was done about them. Madigan’s criticism seems to lend credence to those claims.

“The preliminary stages of this investigation have already demonstrated that the Catholic Church cannot police itself“, Madigan said. “Allegations of sexual abuse of minors, even if they stem from conduct that occurred many years ago, cannot be treated as internal personnel matters.”

Based on their review of the Illinois dioceses’ internal files, the dioceses have received sex-abuse-related allegations for approximately 690 clergy, according to the attorney general’s report. But they publicly reported just 185 of the allegations.

Nearly 75% of the allegations were either not investigated or were investigated but not substantiated, according to the report.

In many cases, the dioceses said they had not conducted investigations because the priest or clergy member was dead or had already resigned by the time the allegation was reported to the dioceses, according to the attorney general’s office. It did not specify which of Illinois’ six dioceses were responsible for the unreported accusations.

In other cases, the dioceses failed to “substantiate” an allegation when it came from only one survivor, even when church officials had reason to believe that survivor and reason to investigate further, according to the report.

“The dioceses also often found reasons to discredit survivors’ stories of abuse by focusing on the survivors’ personal lives,” the report says.

The six dioceses in Illinois are: Chicago, an archdiocese, and Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield.

“The Dioceses of Belleville, Peoria, Rockford, and Springfield did not take the basic step of publishing a comprehensive list of clergy who had been ‘credibly accused’ until the Office became involved”, the report says.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield said his diocese has cooperated with the attorney general’s investigation, but the decision to withhold names in the past was done with “a virtuous intent.” …

“A virtuous intent to protect the faithful from scandal …” …

In December, the Society of Jesus, popularly known as the Jesuits, released lists from four provinces of more than 230 priests who had been credibly accused of abusing minors.

CNN’s Rosa Flores contributed to this article.

Catholic Church in Illinois Withheld Names of at Least 500 Priests Accused of Abuse, Attorney General Says: here.

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