(TheConservativeTimes.org) – The Catholic church has been under intense scrutiny for years over terrifying accusations. According to a multi-year inquiry into allegations of abuse by Catholic clergy members, new information shows that at least 1,997 children were molested in Illinois alone.
A 696-page summary report examines the dioceses of Chicago, Belleville, Peoria, Joliet, Springfield, and Rockford and details child abuse by members of the Illinois Catholic Church since 1950.
The office of Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul released the summary of more than 450 clergy members in the diocese who have been credibly accused of abusing minors during their time in ministry. When the 2018 investigation started, the church only acknowledged 103 specific perpetrators.
No one among those named in the summary is currently serving as a minister, and at least 330 are presumed dead.
Many of the stories in the report were developed with input from survivors, were grounded in actual events, and were told from the perspective of those who lived through them.
According to the report, nearly all abuse survivors who were questioned experienced mental health problems due to their ordeal.
One abuser, Father Daniel McCormack, a priest in Chicago, has been described as one of the most infamous and prolific child abusers. He spent the 1990s and 2000s serving in various teaching and coaching roles in predominantly African-American communities on the West side of Chicago.
He was accused of molesting five young boys and was arrested twice; he pleaded guilty and was given a five-year prison sentence in 2007.
The delivery of the report legally closes the inquiry begun by the Attorney General’s office in 2018, but it also includes 50 pages of suggestions to the dioceses on handling future complaints of child abuse.
Cardinal Blase J. Cupich issued a statement apologizing to the victims and promising to continue investigating the church’s handling of the abuse scandal.
Mr. Raoul claimed all the churches had followed their promises to help with the probe.
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