Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today released the following statement expressing surprise and dismay at comments made by Cardinal Blase Cupich. In comments to the media, Cardinal Cupich claims to have been unaware of names included in the Attorney General’s Report on Catholic Clergy Child Sex Abuse in Illinois, which was released May 23.
“I am surprised and dismayed by the cardinal’s claim in the media that he and the Archdiocese of Chicago ‘had never heard of’ the priests and religious brothers listed in the group of 125 substantiated child sex abusers named in the report my office issued this week. The cardinal’s statements, including that he needs information on how our investigators substantiated the claims, are particularly perplexing because many of those 125 names – 62 in fact – came directly from an archdiocese spreadsheet entitled, ‘Religious Order Clerics With a Substantiated Allegation of Sexual Abuse of Minors Who Served within the Archdiocese of Chicago.’
“As my office explained previously, all 451 listed clerics and brothers included in our report have been substantiated by a Catholic source, either by an Illinois diocese, a non-Illinois diocese or a religious order. And as our report explains, many of those allegations were substantiated after my office’s investigators presented evidence to church representatives one file at a time. In his comments to the media, Cardinal Cupich said that if the cases are substantiated, the names will be added to the archdiocese’s website. The archdiocese itself confirmed to my investigators that 62 of the 125 priests and religious brothers in question were substantiated child sex abusers who ministered in the Archdiocese of Chicago. I am calling on the archdiocese to immediately add at least those 62 names to its online list of substantiated child sex abusers.
“At best, the cardinal’s claims of being blindsided are misleading. At worst, they are more of the same, a continuation of the church’s decades-long pattern of turning a blind eye and covering up allegations of child sex abuse to the detriment of survivors. We released this report to give a voice to survivors and to shine light on the church officials who covered up child sex abuse in the church, allowing child sex predators to continue to abuse children who trusted them.
“Once he returns from his trip abroad, we look forward to continuing our dialogue with the cardinal regarding the remaining names on the list of 125 substantiated child sex abusers, which we previously addressed with archdiocese representatives.”