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Illinois Attorney General Releases Report on Child Sex Abuse by Catholic Clergy

 the cover page of the new report
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul

A multi-year investigation into child sex abuse by members of the clergy in Illinois' six Catholic dioceses is over. Tuesday Attorney General Kwame Raoul released a report with names and information about 451 Catholic clerics and religious brothers who abused at least 1,997 children across all of the dioceses in Illinois.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
Office of Attorney General
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul

Raoul says before his investigation, the Catholic dioceses of Illinois publicly listed only 103 substantiated child sex abusers.

The Quad Cities is part of the Diocese of Peoria that covers 26 counties. And the new report concluded, quote, "the story of the Diocese of Peoria relating to child sex abuse is one of continuity of leadership. Bishops allowed the practices and attitudes of their predecessors to affect their handling of abuse cases, even as formal policies and practices changed."

And it includes cases where the diocese did not admit any allegations against priests who had actually been criminally convicted of child sex abuse. The attorney general's report also says the Peoria Diocese notified local state's attorneys about claims of child abuse only after the Attorney General’s investigation began.

A press release from the diocese says during the past 20 years it's "endeavored to treat all survivors with the utmost respect and sensitivity. And the Diocese has implemented significant changes that have made the Church safer for children."

In addition, it knows of no priest with a substantiated allegation who is currently in ministry or who has not been reported to authorities.