US Cardinal urges attorney general to share information on new clergy abuse cases

new clergy abuse cases

Cardinal Blase Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, expressed his surprise and concern over the Illinois attorney general’s failure to share information regarding new clergy abuse cases recently uncovered.

During his visit to the Vatican, where he serves as a close adviser to Pope Francis, Cardinal Cupich spoke to The Associated Press about his disappointment in learning about the 125 new cases through the state-wide investigative report released on Tuesday.

He emphasised that the attorney general’s office had not forwarded the new claims to the archdiocese for further investigation, as they had done during the five-year inquiry.

“We thought we had that kind of relationship with the attorney general and so are disappointed that we’re hearing these for the first time,” expressed Cupich.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s investigation revealed that approximately 450 Catholic clergy members in Illinois’ six dioceses had sexually abused nearly 2,000 children since 1950.

A far worse situation

This extensive report unveiled a far worse situation than previously acknowledged by the church in 2018 when the state’s review commenced. The Archdiocese of Chicago, the third largest in the United States, reported 68 abusive clergy members in 2018.

However, as the investigation progressed, more names were added to the list, bringing the total to 150 prior to Tuesday’s release.

The report by Attorney General Raoul uncovered an additional 125 abusers within the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Many of these offenders belonged to religious orders whose cases may not have been under the direct jurisdiction of the archdiocese.

Furthermore, it is possible that some victims chose to bypass the church altogether and report their claims directly to the attorney general’s investigators.

Cardinal Cupich conveyed his willingness to include the newly uncovered names on his list but stressed the need for information on how Raoul’s investigators substantiated the claims.

He stated that the archdiocese required an understanding of the investigative process before taking further action.

“I can assure the public this: If these cases are substantiated and we’re given the information of how it was done, we will put them on our website,” asserted Cupich during the interview.

Compensation process to continue unchanged

In response to another recommendation calling for an independent mediation and compensation process for victims, similar to those established by the archdioceses of Los Angeles and New York, Cardinal Cupich was more defensive.

Cupich argued against outsourcing the compensation process, as it would hinder the church’s ability to provide pastoral care to victims. However, he reassured the public that the current process, which has been in place for years, would be continued.

“My concern about contracting this out to a separate third party is that we turn ourselves into a business, not a church,” Cupich explained.


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