Letter to Illinois AG Regarding Lack of Updates on Clergy Abuse Investigation

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Dec. 29, 2019

Dear Attorney General Raoul,

We are leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and the Archangel Foundation. We are writing to you to ask for an update on the progress of the investigation into cases of clerical sexual abuse in Illinois started by your predecessor, Lisa Madigan and that you and your team have continued.

Last Thursday marked one full year since the preliminary report was released by A.G. Madigan and her team. Through that report we learned that Catholic officials in Illinois had received allegations of abuse by 690 priests yet had made public only 185 of those complaints. Additionally, according to that report, the six dioceses in Illinois ignored or minimized nearly ¾ of all reports made to internal reporting systems.

Since that report was released, we have seen several things happen in Illinois:

–Diocesan officials in Chicago assigned Fr. Michael O’Connell, a priest who has twice been accused during his career of abusing children, to a position at St. Bartholomew’s School;
–As many as 1,000 allegations of sexual abuse committed by clergyand reported to DCFS were never investigated;
–Religious order officials moved Fr. John McCloskey, a pastor against whom they had already settled an abuse complaint and had promised to keep out of ministry, to a new church in Illinois while telling the community that he was “a priest of good character and reputation” and “in good standing”; and
–Parishioners in Niles, IL learned that a previous pastor had been found “credibly accused” of abuse, but only because of the outreach done by church officials in Minnesota, not in Illinois.

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