Almost 2,000 Kids Abused by Catholic Leaders in Illinois

Originally published May 24, 2023 6:47 pm PDT

The report details narratives from the survivors.

  • Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul Tuesday released a report from a multi-year investigation into child sex abuse by Catholic leaders in Illinois.
  • The investigation found that at least 1,997 children were sexually abused by 451 members of the Catholic clergy.
  • “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 in a press release.
  • “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,” he continued, adding, “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.”
  • Prior to the investigation, the Catholic dioceses of Illinois listed 103 child sex abusers, although Raoul’s report found significantly more.
  • Of the 451 abusers listed in the report, 330 have died.
  • An overview of the report explains that the findings are divided into 5 sections: an analysis of the long-term effects of abuse, a description of each Illinois Diocese, an explanation of the policies relating to child sex abuse allegations, data analysis, and recommendations for the Illinois Dioceses moving forward.
  • The report contains detailed, explicit descriptions of each abuser and their actions.
  • One abuser is described as a “master in grooming children.”
  • Some abusers are not listed in dioceses’ lists, although abuse claims are substantiated.
  • For example, the report notes that the “Archdiocese of Chicago acknowledges that nearly 60 religious order members have ‘a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of minors [and] served within the Archdiocese of Chicago.’ Regardless, the archdiocese refuses to name these substantiated child sex abusers on its public list because they either had ‘no diocesan ministry’ or are a non-ordained ‘lay brother.’”
  • As part of its recommendations for Dioceses moving forward, the report suggests a separate office aimed at providing support to survivors be developed.
  • “When survivor support and investigations overlap, several problems emerge: (1) survivors may not receive the support they deserve; (2) survivors may not receive a thorough investigation; and (3) other survivors may decide not to come forward,” the report explains.
  • American Faith reported that Jim Caviezel is to star in the new film, “Sound of Freedom,” a movie based on the true story of a federal agent’s endeavor to save children from human trafficking.
  • “Sound of Freedom” is a film that “shines a light on even the darkest of places,” according to the film’s press release.
  • Caviezel described the project as “the second most important film” he has done after “The Passion of the Christ.”