Illinois Attorney General Releases Final Report On Catholic Clergy Child Sex Abuse in Illinois
May 24, 2023
CHICAGO—Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul held a press conference in downtown Chicago May 23 to release the final report on his investigation into clergy sexual abuse over the past four and one half years. Attorney General Raoul inherited the statewide investigation into child sex abuse in the Catholic church from his predecessor, AG Lisa Madigan.
The 696-page “Report on Catholic Clergy Child Sex Abuse in Illinois” focuses on decades of old and new abuse cases in the state’s six dioceses: Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford, and Springfield and the Archdiocese of Chicago. 
Nearly 2000 survivors of Catholic church sexual abuse in Illinois were documented by state investigators according to the Attorney General, and the report outlines abuse and harrowing stories from some of those survivors. It is divided into sections and by diocese. 
The statement issued by the Diocese of Rockford shortly after the Attorney General’s press conference acknowledged victims with an apology saying “First and foremost, the Diocese of Rockford apologizes for the pain endured by victim survivors of childhood sexual abuse. No child should ever be harmed, and no adult should have to endure the memories of that harm. Our priority today remains the safety of all children and vulnerable individuals, and the repair of the past.” 
While no one disputes the scourge and sin of sexual abuse by clergy or anyone for that matter, there are inaccuracies in the report that the Rockford Diocese felt important for the public in its 11 county diocese to know and was included in its statement: 
“ … in this final report we find there are inaccuracies. For example, there are statements/allegations in the report that there are known abusers actively ministering in our diocese. To the best of our knowledge that is simply not true. There is no cleric or lay person in ministry or employment in the Diocese of Rockford with a credible accusation against him or her. At no time during the 4 ½ years-long investigation by the Attorney General’s office was the diocese ever informed that the Attorney General holds this view. In fact, the Attorney General’s report identifies 160 priests it maintains should be on public lists but are not. However, the Attorney General reports that none of those 160 priests is or was in any way affiliated with the Diocese of Rockford,” the Diocese’s statement reads. (See full statement on page 6) 
The diocese’s statement is referring to the Attorney General’s Report, at page 664, which states:
“Unlike the other dioceses, the Diocese of Rockford has disclosed all substantiated clerics and religious brothers who ministered in the diocese. The Archdiocese of Chicago and the Dioceses of Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, and Springfield are urged to add the names of those listed below to their public lists of substantiated abusers; detailed information relating to each cleric and religious brother listed below is included in the diocese section of this report.”
The Attorney General’s report goes on to list 160 clerics, and the Illinois dioceses with which the AG believes they are affiliated. None are listed for the Diocese of Rockford. 
All six Illinois dioceses cooperated with state investigators who examined more than 100,000 documents and had contact with more than 600 survivors of priest sex abuse. Just days before the final report was released, the six Illinois dioceses released a joint statement stating their policies and procedures to protect children and vulnerable adults and how they respond to abuse reports. That statement along with the May 23 diocesan statement and the full report from the Attorney General can be found at
And the Rockford Diocese reminds all people that if you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual abuse by an employee or member of the clergy of the Rockford Diocese, report the matter to law enforcement in the county in which the conduct occurred and then call the diocese’s abuse hotline at 815-293-7540 for pastoral outreach services. 
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