The Latest: SNAP blasts Catholic church’s abuse response

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the Illinois attorney general’s report on clergy abuse (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

The Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests is criticizing the Illinois Catholic church for its handling of allegations of clergy sexual abuse.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan reported Wednesday that her investigation has found as many as 690 allegations of abuse by Catholic clergy. Illinois six dioceses have reported they found 185.

Zach Hiner is executive director of SNAP. He says Madigan’s finding is why SNAP wants independent investigations by outside groups of priest abuse. He says only when Madigan began her investigation did the Illinois dioceses disclose that they were aware of 45 additional undisclosed clergy who had credible allegations against them.

Hiner says he wants every state to conduct similar investigations and wants the Justice Department to make inquiries as well.


5:20 p.m.

Catholic dioceses in Illinois are defending their handling of clergy abuse after Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said their response has been woefully inadequate.

Madigan said Wednesday her investigation has found accusations of abuse against 500 more clergy than the state’s six dioceses have reported.

The dioceses say they have had strict procedures for rooting out sexual abuse since at least 2002.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Springfield diocese says Madigan’s inquiry prompted a review of all priests back to 1923 and “motivated us to redouble our commitments” to stopping abuse.

Officials in the Peoria diocese say they reviewed 1,800 priest files dating to 1878 and have reported all sex-abuse allegations to law enforcement.

The Joliet diocese says Madigan’s office gave no indication it had inadequately investigated or that there were problems with its online list of credible allegations .


4:05 p.m.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says her office has found 500 more Catholic clergy accused of sexually abusing children than the state’s six archdioceses have publicly identified.

In a blistering rebuke of the church’s handling of the crisis, Madigan’s office says its preliminary findings have revealed the state’s six dioceses have done a woefully inadequate job of investigating allegations and in some cases didn’t investigate them at all or notify the state child welfare workers of the allegations.

Madigan says that while the six archdioceses have publicly identified 185 clergy members as having been “credibly” accused of child sexual abuse, her office found allegations of abuse by at least 500 more.

Madigan’s findings come amid a renewed national outcry over allegations of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests.

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