June 4, 2023

Angie Leventis Lourgos, Jake Sheridan | Chicago Tribune

Lots of extra Catholic clerics abused kids in Illinois than had been beforehand reported by church leaders, based on a scathing 700-page report launched Tuesday by the Illinois Lawyer Normal’s workplace following a roughly four-year investigation.

State investigators revealed the names and particulars of 451 Catholic clergymen and spiritual brothers who abused no less than 1,997 kids throughout all dioceses in Illinois. Previous to the report, Catholic leaders in Illinois had solely publicly listed 103 substantiated little one intercourse abusers, based on the Lawyer Normal’s workplace.

“These perpetrators might by no means be held accountable in a courtroom of regulation, however by naming them right here, the intention is to supply a public accounting and a measure of therapeutic to survivors who’ve lengthy suffered in silence,” Lawyer Normal Kwame Raoul stated in a information launch.

The discharge added that the survivors’ accounts “show a troubling sample of the church failing to assist survivors, ignoring or protecting up studies of abuse, and survivors being revictimized by the church once they got here ahead to report being abused.”

In response to the report, Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich in a written assertion stated no clergy member “with even one substantiated allegation in opposition to him is in ministry within the Archdiocese of Chicago.”

“Once we study of an allegation of abuse, we act promptly, report it to civil authorities, take away the accused from ministry and examine the allegation,” the assertion stated.

Whereas archdiocesan officers hadn’t had time to assessment the report intimately, officers there “have considerations about information that is likely to be misunderstood or are introduced in ways in which might be deceptive,” the assertion stated, however didn’t give any particular considerations about info within the report or make clear what information the remark referenced.

“It’s due to this fact essential that we state what we all know to be true,” the assertion stated. “We should assume first of the survivors of sexual abuse who carry the burden of those crimes by way of their lives. On behalf of the archdiocese, I apologize to all who’ve been harmed by the failure to stop and correctly reply to little one sexual abuse by clerics. Survivors will eternally be in our prayers, and now we have devoted ourselves to rooting out this drawback and offering therapeutic to victims.”

The assertion added that the Archdiocese of Chicago first adopted insurance policies and packages to “tackle the scourge of kid sexual abuse and to assist survivors” in 1992, and people protocols have been used as “a mannequin for organizations and professionals coping with this troublesome situation.”

“The archdiocese has, to our information, reported all allegations of kid sexual abuse by clergy to civil authorities, together with the oldest allegations,” the assertion stated. “We report these allegations no matter whether or not the accused is alive or lifeless, a diocesan priest, an extern priest from one other diocese or a spiritual order priest.”

The report was “considerably of a vindication” and the start of accountability, stated Larry Antonsen, a Chicago chief of the Survivors Community of these Abused by Clergymen.

“I believe it’s means underreported,” he added. “I believe there’s an entire lot greater than that. Perhaps double. Perhaps triple.”

Antonsen, 76, was molested by a priest who taught St. Rita of Cascia Excessive College on the Southwest Facet, the place Antonsen was then a sophomore, he stated. That they had taken a day journey to Milwaukee, and the priest determined they might keep in a motel as a result of it was too late to return house.

Like in his personal abuse expertise, Antonsen expects statutes of limitation will stop authorized motion in opposition to most of the clergymen newly named as little one sexual abusers. Nonetheless, he hopes the report brings extra abuse to mild and results in accountability — not only for abusers, however for church leaders who hid the abuse, he stated.

“They flat out lied about it. I imply flat out lied,” Antonsen stated of the church leaders.

He shared hope that individuals would take heed to the tales of survivors with open minds. The lawyer common’s on-line report contains intensive narratives detailing the abuse survivors suffered.

When Antonsen was sexually abused, his relationships had been damage and he stopped doing issues he beloved to do. He and the round 20 folks he frequently discusses private priest abuse tales with by way of SNAP have by no means gotten apologies, assist or contact from the Archdiocese of Chicago, he stated.

“It’s ruined folks’s lives. And for us, there’s no recourse,” Antonsen stated. “And so they can’t actually give any of that again. They will’t.”

Learn the complete report beneath in English.

[email protected]

©2023 Chicago Tribune. Go to chicagotribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content material Company, LLC.