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Response of the Archdiocese of Chicago to Recent Statements by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul

May 26, 2023

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We want to clearly state again, as we have repeatedly told the Attorney General (AG), we will post on our weblist clerics belonging to religious orders or other diocese who served in a ministry of the Archdiocese and have been the subject of a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor, if the responsible order or diocese provides that information.

It appears the AG’s office received information during its investigation about substantiated allegations involving clerics not on our weblist and they did not bring that information to our attention. It was for this reason our statements expressed concern that we learned of many of these names for the first time when the AG Report was released.

The AG Report listed 125 clerics whom they say should be added to the weblist. Five are already listed. We have previously communicated to the AG that 57 of the individuals they name were not clerics or they did not serve in a ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago. We are looking at the remaining 63 more closely to determine whether any of them should be added to the weblist. We will also follow up on any new information the AG has and will provide us.

If the AG received confirmation of substantiated cases from other dioceses and religious orders during the course of his investigation, we ask him to share that information with us so we can determine if the individuals involved served in a ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago. In such cases, the names of those individuals will be posted on our weblist.

Given our commitment to provide accurate and complete information to the public and to our parishioners we cannot, on our own and absent that information, post the names of individuals for whom we do not have access or a right to the access of their files. We cannot act in a way that is contrary to how the Church is structured or that undermines the credibility of the information we share.

Despite many discussions of this topic with the Attorney General, the Report creates the impression that the archdiocese has authority over or is responsible for religious order members. We do not. We have done our best to verify information given to us by these separate church organizations. Religious orders run 4 universities, 15 hospitals, many shrines, churches and other ministries within Cook and Lake counties. They are required to have child protection policies and procedures in place and to have their operations certified by groups such as Praesidium. They do not report to us except when individual members seek permission to administer the sacraments.

One final point. We have reported every single allegation of child sexual abuse by a cleric known to us. In 2002, we cooperated with the office of then-State’s Attorney Richard Devine to report all allegations found in an extensive search of historical files, and we have reported every allegation since.

This is the opposite of hiding.

We believe the Attorney General needs to make clear to the public and our parishioners that there was nothing discovered in his investigation that contradicts this assertion.