Friday, 21 December 2018

Catholic Abuse News - At Least 500 More in Illinois

Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago. "Profound regret".
Investigation identifies 500 Catholic priests and clergy accused of sex abuse in Illinois - ABC News

Contrary to Pope Francis' protestations of regret and promises to root out and put a stop to paedophile and sexually abusive priests and the church's routine cover-up and facilitation, it continues unabated it seems, at least in the six Catholic diocese in the State of Illinois, USA, if the outgoing District Attorney General, Lisa Madigan is to be believed.

An investigation into sexual abuse by Catholic priest in the state of Illinois, launched last August following the shocking Pennsylvania Grand Jury report showing that 300 paedophile Catholic priests had abused over 1000 children, has already uncovered evidence that about 500 priests have had credible accusations of sexual abuse made against them although the Illinois dioceses have only named 185.

They had initially only named 140, then after the investigation began, named a further 45. (It is a measure of how we have got used to the scale of the problem when we used terms such as 'only' when referring to 185 sexually abusive Catholic priests in one state. How long will it be before we find ourselves talking about 'only' 500?)

This was revealed in Madigan's initial report into her office's investigation, released by her director o communications, Maura Possley.

Madigan's report states that the her office "found multiple examples where the Illinois Dioceses failed to notify law enforcement or DCFS [Department of Children and Family Services] of allegations they received related to clergy sexual abuse of minors" and noted that different dioceses used different criteria to determine whether a claim against an individual should be considered credible.

"While the Illinois Dioceses have touted their 'independent audits' as evidence that they are adequately responding to clergy sexual abuse allegations, the audits are seemingly not designed to discover clergy abuse, but rather are perfunctory, 'check the box' exercises done in a routine manner by the same entity nationwide, using a process that does not appear to involve a systematic review of the contents of files or the decisions a diocese made," the report states.

Madigan chose not to stand for a fifth term but here replacement, Kwame Raoul, had declared his commitment to continuing this work.

There are now 16 jurisdictions carrying out major investigations into sexual abuses by Catholic priests and the part played by the church in covering them up and failing to inform the law enforcement and child protection agencies of allegations.

Perhaps the question is why there are not more. Every investigation that has reported so far has found the scale of the abuses to be far greater than the church had admitted and the actions to prevent it, support and compensate the victims and bring the criminals to justice has been inadequate or non-existent, despite protestations of regret and promises of action.

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