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Nearly 2,000 children abused by Catholic clergy over decades, says Illinois AG report

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul speaks as he releases a May 23, 2023 report revealing decades of abuse by Catholic clergy against almost 2,000 children. (OSV News screenshot/Twitter)

CHICAGO (OSV News) — Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul released a May 23 report revealing decades of abuse by Catholic clergy against almost 2,000 children.

The report, unveiled during a May 23 press conference and totaling almost 700 pages, concludes a multi-year investigation launched in 2018 into child sexual abuse by 451 clergy and religious brothers from all six Catholic dioceses in Illinois. Prior to Raoul’s investigation, the Catholic dioceses of Illinois publicly listed just 103 credibly accused abusers.

“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,” said Raoul in a May 23 statement. “However, as with any presumably reputable institution, the Catholic Church must be held accountable when it betrays the public’s trust.”

Chicago Cardinal Blase J. Cupich said in a statement that archdiocesan officials “have not studied the report in detail but have concerns about data that might be misunderstood or are presented in ways that could be misleading.” He also said, “We must think first of the survivors of sexual abuse who carry the burden of these crimes through their lives,” and apologized to victims on behalf of the archdiocese.

This is a developing story. Watch your local Catholic news source for the full OSV News story.

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