Illinois Attorney General Accuses Catholic Church of Withholding Names of 500 Priests Accused of Sex Abuse

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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has accused the Catholic Church of withholding the names of hundreds of priests accused of sexual abuse, a claim challenged by a prominent watchdog group.

The New York Times cited Ms. Madigan in reporting that the Catholic Church in Illinois withheld the names of at least 500 priests accused of sexual abuse of minors, along with her declaration that the Catholic dioceses in Illinois are incapable of investigating themselves and “will not resolve the clergy sexual abuse crisis on their own.”

While over several decades 690 priests had been accused of abuse, the Church deemed that only 185 of the accusations were credible, yet the New York Times implied that all of the accusations were credible, claiming in its headline that 500 names had been withheld.

“The number of allegations above what was already public is shocking,” Madigan declared.

The president of the Catholic League, Dr. William Donahue, accused the attorney general of a brazen double standard in her investigations, since there have been more accusations of abuse against public school teachers than Catholic priests and yet she has launched no inquiry into the former.

“Why didn’t Madigan launch an investigation of the public schools throughout the state following revelations of a Chicago Tribune report on sexual abuse in Chicago?” Donahue asked.

In the “last three months—between September and December—Chicago public school officials fielded 624 new complaints, including a teen track star who was allegedly raped 40 times by her coach,” Donahue noted. And worse still, school officials “knew about these abuse cases and hid them from the public for eight years,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

“Why didn’t Illinois Attorney General Madigan insist on a probe of every public school in the state, dating back decades?” Donahue asked.

“Kids are being raped by public school teachers right now in Illinois, but this does not concern her. There is no ‘Teacher Abuse Hotline’ posted on her website, but there is a ‘Clergy Abuse Hotline,’” Donahue observed.

Meanwhile, the Boy Scouts of America — another organization in which adults have contact with young people — is contemplating a declaration of bankruptcy in the face of numerous charges of sexual abuse.

“The Scouts are fighting hundreds of claims, a rash of litigation fueled by the public emergence in 2012 of the organization’s own meticulous records of thousands of sexual abuse and misconduct allegations,” Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

The sex abuse problem is “widespread,” Donahue notes, “but few prosecutors have any interest in examining current cases of sexual abuse in the public schools, never mind cases of abuse committed by the clergy in other religions. They are too busy uncovering decades-old cases of abuse committed by priests.”

“To this day, there has never been a grand jury investigation of the public schools in Illinois, or in any other state,” Donahue noted.

Which gives his accusation of a double standard plausible grounding.

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