Editorial: The Catholic priest abuse scandal: Next steps

Chicago Tribune (TNS)

December 21, 2018

Sixteen years into the scandal of clergy sex abuse within the Roman Catholic Church, the horrors of these crimes still shock and disgust Americans. The exploitation of children, adolescents and adults by authority figures they had been taught to trust is reprehensible. We’ve written often of the lax, arguably criminal behavior of some local bishops and other church officials who shrouded grave misconduct in secrecy and didn’t share reports of abuses with civil authorities.

In August a report from Pennsylvania’s attorney general cataloged 70 years of such cases in that state. Attorney General Lisa Madigan responded with a comparable effort in Illinois, and on Wednesday her office issued nine pages of preliminary findings about cases in this state’s six dioceses.

The report is a step toward the transparency that’s been uneven in Illinois. The dioceses have had years to disclose credible allegations of abuse in some standardized way that’s easy to comprehend, and accept. For any church officials who haven’t done so, that’s the urgent Job One.

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