Cardinal Blase Cupich, the Archbishop of Chicago, urged Illinois attorney general Kwame Raoul to provide information about allegations of clergy sex abuse included in his report issued on 23 May which were previously unknown to the dioceses of the state.
Speaking to the Associated Press in Rome, Cupich said he was surprised the report included 125 cases of which was unaware.
“I can assure the public this: if these cases are substantiated and we’re given the information of how it was [done], we will put them on our website,” the cardinal said.
The attorney general’s report listed 450 clergy statewide who it said were credibly accused of committing sex abuse of 2,000 minors since 1950.
All the charges were historic in nature – that is, none of the accused were in active ministry. Included in the 125 additional allegations in Chicago were priests in religious order, whose cases would have been handled by their orders rather than the archdiocese.
The attorney general’s office accused Cupich of making misleading statements, arguing that the conclusions the report drew stemmed from Church records.
“The archdiocese itself confirmed to my investigators that 62 of the 125 priests and religious brothers in question were substantiated child sex abusers who ministered in the Archdiocese of Chicago,” Raoul said in a prepared statement.
“I am calling on the archdiocese to immediately add at least those 62 names to its online list of substantiated child sex abusers.”
The archdiocese contested the claim they were stonewalling. “The AG [attorney general] report listed 125 clerics whom they say should be added to the web list. Five are already listed,” the archdiocese said in a post on social media.
“We have previously communicated to the AG that 57 of the individuals they name were not clerics or they did not serve in a ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago. We are looking at the remaining 63 more closely to determine whether any of them should be added to the weblist. We will also follow up on any new information the AG has and will provide us.”
The statement added: “We have reported every single allegation of child sexual abuse by a cleric known to us.”