Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul released a bombshell, comprehensive report revealing that 451 Catholic clerics and religious brothers abused almost 2,000 children across Illinois dioceses.
At almost 700 pages, Raoul’s report results from a multi-year investigation into child sex abuse by clergy members from all six Illinois dioceses. He released the report at a Tuesday morning news conference in Chicago.
“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.
The startling report contains detailed accounts of child sex abuse committed by clerics. Those narratives were written in consultation with survivors based on their experiences. Those accounts were also told from the point of view of those survivors.
The Attorney General’s report concludes the investigation, which began in 2018. However, the report also contains recommendations from the Attorney General’s office to the dioceses on handling future child sex abuse allegations.
“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 conducted his investigation, the Catholic dioceses of Illinois publicly identified 103 child sex abusers. However, Raoul’s report uncovers the names and detailed information of 451 Catholic clerics and religious brothers who abused at least 1,997 children.
The attorneys and investigators from the Illinois Attorney General’s office reviewed over 100,000 pages of documents held by the dioceses.
Investigators also received over 600 confidential contacts from survivors via phone calls, interviews, letters and emails.
Raoul’s office also recorded survivor experiences of children who clerics sexually abused.
The Attorney General’s report on Catholic Clergy Child Sex Abuse in Illinois can be accessed here.