New Abuse Allegations Announced Against Archdiocese Amid Illinois Attorney General's Investigation - NBC Chicago
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New Abuse Allegations Announced Against Archdiocese Amid Illinois Attorney General's Investigation

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Madigan Speaks Out About Investigating Priest Sex Abuse Case

    Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says her investigation into priest sexual abuse has discovered more names of abusers than were previously disclosed. NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern reports. 

    (Published Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018)

    Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says her investigation in to priest sex abuse has discovered more names of abusers than were previously disclosed. Madigan asked for records from all the Illinois Catholic dioceses after the bombshell report from a Pennsylvania grand jury.

    Late Wednesday night the Archdiocese issued a press release, identifying new names of priests or deacons with substantiated allegations of abuse not previously disclosed.

    Cardinal Blase Cupich weighed in this week on the crisis and whether bishops should be investigated.

    "No one can be exempt," he said.

    In late August, Madigan initiated a new statewide investigation asking for all of the Illinois Catholic bishops to open their files.

    "What we've seen are varying levels of cooperation with our investigation," she said. "I wouldn't characterize it as totally transparent because when we were reviewing the files of the Chicago Archdiocese, we did find individuals, members of the clergy where it appears there were substantiated claims of child sexual abuse but those individuals names had not been released."

    Late Wednesday the Chicago Archdiocese disclosed 10 new names of priests or deacons -- not previously known -- all of them are dead. Rockford has 11 new names and Peoria three new names of priests with substantiated abuse claims.

    Wednesday in Texas there was a law enforcement raid on the Galveston/Houston Archdiocese offices.

    As Madigan investigates in Illinois -- might there be criminal charges?

    "It will remain to be seen if charges will be filed, if we find that there are members of the clergy who are involved in criminal behavior that will be investigated, and there will be appropriate charges," he said.

    Cupich is one of just four key leaders organizing Pope Francis' global summit on abuse in February.

    "I think it's very important for the Catholic church to provide a complete and accurate accounting of all of their clergy that have been involved in abuse of minors," Madigan said.

    The question still unknown -- will there be a new code of conduct for bishops -- who not only abuse -- but fail to report abuse.