Crisis rocks Catholic Church over s3x abuse
No fewer than 450 credibly accused child s3x abusers have reportedly ministered in the Catholic Church in Illinois State in the United States of America over almost seven decades.
This was made known by the office of the state’s attorney general, Kwame Raoul, on Tuesday in an investigative report. The report noted that it’s more than four times the number that the church had publicly disclosed before 2018 when the state began its investigation.
According to New York Times, the 696-page report found that clergy members and lay religious brothers had abused at least 1,997 children since 1950 in the state’s six dioceses, including the prominent Archdiocese of Chicago.
At least 149 names were added to lists of child s3x abusers by the report, whom the dioceses themselves had publicly identified before or during the investigation. That brings the total number of identified abusers to 451, World News Era reports.
According to the report; the additional names were supplied by victims who came forward and shared their accounts with investigators, who then followed up on their accounts.
Investigators also reviewed more than 100,000 pages of files held by the dioceses and interviewed church leaders and their representatives.
The 149 new names are religious brothers, who are accountable primarily to independent religious orders rather than to local dioceses and bishops.
Thomas Francis Kelly, a priest who abused more than 15 boys ranging in age from 11 to 17 in several parishes in the 1960s and 1970s was one case among many documented in the report.
A victim contacted the attorney general’s investigators to describe being singled out by Father Kelly as an 11-year-old altar server.
The priest invited the boy to drive-in movies and to spend the night in the rectory, where the priest offered him beer. The boy awoke in the night to find Father Kelly performing oral s3x on him, the report says
The priest’s tactics were well known that they became a topic of conversation among the victim’s peers. Two other victims of Father Kelly shared similar experiences with investigators. The archdiocese moved the priest from parish to parish, the attorney general’s report notes. The priest died in 1990.
Attorneys general and grand juries in a number of states have investigated s3xual abuse in the church, including an investigation into the Archdiocese of Baltimore that was released last month.
The many investigations were inspired by a sweeping report in 2018 on six dioceses in Pennsylvania, which stunned Catholics across the country.
The Illinois report was initiated by Lisa Madigan, Mr. Raoul’s predecessor as attorney general, who identified early in her investigation a significant gap between the number of clergy members who had been credibly accused and the much smaller number disclosed by the church.
“The number of allegations above what was already public is shocking,” she told The New York Times in 2018.
The effects of the clerical s3x abuse crisis have rippled through the Catholic Church in the United States for decades and burst into public view 20 years ago when The Boston Globe documented a sprawling cover-up of abuse in church settings.
The Catholic Conference of Illinois estimates that Catholics make up about 27 percent of the state’s population, above the national average for states.
Naija News House