Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says her office has gotten at least 500 allegations of sex abuse by Catholic priests that dioceses across the state failed to publicly name.
In a new report Wednesday, Madigan excoriates church officials for failing to thoroughly investigate many of the allegations.
“The Catholic Church has failed in its moral obligation to provide survivors, parishioners, and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois,” Madigan said.
She accuses the church of failing to determine if the conduct by the accused priests was ignored or covered up by their superiors.
Madigan’s report says in some cases, Illinois dioceses tried to discredit victims by turning the spotlight on their personal lives.
Church leaders, including Chicago Archbishop Cardinal Blase Cupich, say they regret any failures to address what he calls “the scourge of clerical sexual abuse” — and say some of the dioceses have long since instituted policies requiring the church to report such allegations to civil authorities, even if the accused priest is dead.