Illinois AG finds 500 more Catholic clergy accused of abuse

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Wednesday issued a blistering report about clergy sexual abuse, saying that Catholic dioceses in Illinois has not released the names of at least 500 clergy accused of sexually abusing children.

The preliminary report found that the church's six archdioceses have done a woefully inadequate job of investigating allegations and in some cases did not investigate them at all or notify the state's child welfare agency. Madigan's office said that while the dioceses have disclosed 45 more names of those credibly accused, the total number of names disclosed is only 185 and raises questions about the church's response to the crisis.

"By choosing not to thoroughly investigate allegations, the Catholic Church has failed in its moral obligation to provide survivors, parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois," Madigan said in a statement. "The failure to investigate also means that the Catholic Church has never made an effort to determine whether the conduct of the accused priests was ignored or covered up by superiors."

The report does not include some key details such as when the allegations were made. It also does not accuse the dioceses of withholding the names of 'credibly" accused clergy, only that the list of names of accused clergy is far longer than has been made public.

A Madigan spokeswoman said that the allegations date back decades and include some priests who are now deceased.

The Illinois disclosures are a new blow to the credibility of the church, which has struggled to contain the scandal amid mounting accusations of negligence. In August, a Pennsylvania grand jury report alleged that hundreds of priests abused at least 1,000 children over seven decades in that state. The report prompted Pope Francis to call U.S. bishops for a retreat at a suburban Chicago seminary next month to debate how to respond.

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Investigation into Pennsylvania's Catholic church reveals sex abuse scandal and coverup
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Investigation into Pennsylvania's Catholic church reveals sex abuse scandal and coverup
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 15: Parishioners worship during a mass to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St Paul Cathedral, the mother church of the Pittsburgh Diocese on August 15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Diocese was rocked by revelations of abuse by priests the day before on August 14, 2018.(Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
Victims of clergy sexual abuse, or their family members react as Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. A Pennsylvania grand jury says its investigation of clergy sexual abuse identified more than 1,000 child victims. The grand jury report released Tuesday says that number comes from records in six Roman Catholic dioceses. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Storm clouds pass over a Roman Catholic church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Cohn
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. A Pennsylvania grand jury says its investigation of clergy sexual abuse identified more than 1,000 child victims. The grand jury report released Tuesday says that number comes from records in six Roman Catholic dioceses. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
FILE – In this June 30, 2015, file photo, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, speaks while outlining the schedule for Pope Francis' September 2015 visit to Washington, during a news conference at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington. Wuerl wrote to priests to defend himself on the eve of the scheduled Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, release of a grand jury report investigating child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 15: Father Kris Stubna walks to the sanctuary following a mass to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St Paul Cathedral, the mother church of the Pittsburgh Diocese on August 15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Diocese was rocked by revelations of abuse by priests the day before on August 14, 2018.(Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
Robert Mizic, 47, watches a press conference on the grand jury report investigating sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania at his home on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, in Turtle Creek, Pa. Mizic says he was abused by his parish priest at a Catholic Church in suburban Philadelphia 35 years ago. (Andrew Rush/Post-Gazette via AP)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 15: St Paul Cathedral, the mother church of the Pittsburgh Diocese on August 15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Diocese was rocked by revelations of abuse by priests the day before on August 14, 2018.(Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
Judy Deaven who says her son was a victim of sexual abuse by a priest as a boy reacts as Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. A Pennsylvania grand jury says its investigation of clergy sexual abuse identified more than 1,000 child victims. The grand jury report released Tuesday says that number comes from records in six Roman Catholic dioceses. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 15: Parishioners worship during a mass to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St Paul Cathedral, the mother church of the Pittsburgh Diocese on August 15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Diocese was rocked by revelations of abuse by priests the day before on August 14, 2018.(Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
Former priest James Faluszczak, who says he was molested by a priest as a teenager, reacts as Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. A Pennsylvania grand jury says its investigation of clergy sexual abuse identified more than 1,000 child victims. The grand jury report released Tuesday says that number comes from records in six Roman Catholic dioceses. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 15: Father Kris Stubna speaks to parishioners during a mass to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St Paul Cathedral, the mother church of the Pittsburgh Diocese on August 15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Diocese was rocked by revelations of abuse by priests the day before on August 14, 2018.(Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
In this Dec. 12, 2010, photo, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, greets a woman after giving a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. A landmark grand jury report released Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, faulted Wuerl, the former longtime bishop of Pittsburgh who now leads the Washington archdiocese, for what it said was his part in the concealment of clergy sexual abuse. Wuerl, one of the highest-profile cardinals in the United States, released a statement Tuesday that said he had "acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse." (Rebecca Droke/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 15: Parishioners leave St Paul Cathedral, the mother church of the Pittsburgh Diocese on August 15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Diocese was rocked by revelations of abuse by priests the day before on August 14, 2018.(Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 15: Parishioners worship during a mass to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St Paul Cathedral, the mother church of the Pittsburgh Diocese on August 15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Diocese was rocked by revelations of abuse by priests the day before on August 14, 2018.(Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
FILE – In this Sept. 23, 2015, file photo, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, left, looks toward the crowd with Pope Francis following a Mass outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. Wuerl wrote to priests to defend himself on the eve of the scheduled Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, release of a grand jury report investigating child sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic dioceses. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 15: Parishioners leave St Paul Cathedral, the mother church of the Pittsburgh Diocese on August 15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Diocese was rocked by revelations of abuse by priests the day before on August 14, 2018.(Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 15: Parishioners worship during a mass to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St Paul Cathedral, the mother church of the Pittsburgh Diocese on August 15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh Diocese was rocked by revelations of abuse by priests the day before on August 14, 2018.(Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. A Pennsylvania grand jury says its investigation of clergy sexual abuse identified more than 1,000 child victims. The grand jury report released Tuesday says that number comes from records in six Roman Catholic dioceses. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, at podium, speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. A Pennsylvania grand jury says its investigation of clergy sexual abuse identified more than 1,000 child victims. The grand jury report released Tuesday says that number comes from records in six Roman Catholic dioceses. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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Larry Antonsen, a Chicago leader of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Madigan is doing the right thing and needs to continue. He said Illinois should convene a grand jury with subpoena power, as in Pennsylvania.

"There's more that needs to be done. The Catholic Church does not do a good job of policing itself, and you can't expect them to do that," Antonsen said. "It's hard to know what to believe because so much of what they're doing is in secret and not out in the open, but this is a step in the right direction."

A leading attorney who has represented survivors of abuse called for the additional names of priests to be made public.

"The Illinois Bishops must release these names immediately so that survivors can heal and no other kids are harmed," said Minneapolis-based Jeff Anderson.

Madigan's office said the problems went beyond a lack of effort. In some cases, the report found, efforts were made to work against the accusers.

"When the Illinois Dioceses investigated an allegation, they frequently found reasons not to deem an allegation 'credible' or 'substantiated,'" according to the report. Not only did Madigan's office find a "pattern" of dioceses failing to substantiate allegations that came from one person, "The dioceses also often found reasons to discredit survivors' stories of abuse by focusing on the survivors' personal lives."

Illinois church leaders expressed regret about the abuse, but pointed to steps they have taken to address what has become an international crisis.

Chicago's archbishop, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, in a statement said that although he regretted "our failures to address the scourge of clerical sexual abuse," the archdiocese has been a leader in dealing with the issue, including a policy since 2002 of reporting "all allegations of child sexual abuse to civil authorities."

The Springfield diocese said that it reviewed paper files of clergy dating to its 1923 founding and provided Madigan's office with documentation of each instance of abuse, regardless of whether it was deemed credible, according to a statement.

The Diocese of Joliet said in a statement that it took steps such as establishing in 1993 a review committee made up of people from law enforcement, social service agencies and others to investigate allegations of sexual abuse.

Madigan said her office's findings make it clear that notifying authorities is critical, and pointing to instances when dioceses used personal information about people to discredit them and help them conclude accusations weren't credible. "The preliminary stages of this investigation have already demonstrated that the Catholic Church cannot police itself," she said.

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Catholic church's global sex abuse scandal
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Catholic church's global sex abuse scandal
An advocate and survivor of sexual abuse, looks at the photos of Catholic priests accused of sexual misconduct by victims during a news conference Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Orange, Calif. Advocates for survivors of child sex abuse say they have compiled a list of 72 priests who served in the Southern California Diocese of Orange and who are accused of abusing kids. Lawyer Mike Reck on Thursday said that's many more than those reported by the Diocese and demanded greater transparency. The Diocese of Orange says the lawyers are trying to re-litigate old claims that the church takes any accusations of abuse "extraordinarily seriously." (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Agata Diduszko-Zyglewska, left, and opposition lawmaker Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus,right, lift photos of young victims of abuse by priests during a meeting that demanded strict criminal punishment for pedophile priests at the parliament in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2018, file photo, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, listens to a reporter's question during a news conference during the USCCB's annual fall meeting in Baltimore. Prosecutors investigating a sexual abuse case against DiNardo are executing a search warrant at the offices of the local archdiocese, led by DiNardo, the cardinal leading the Catholic Church's response in the U.S. to sexual misconduct. Investigators from the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office were at the offices Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
The sun sets on a sign in front of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe offices in Albuquerque, N.M., on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. Archbishop John Wester announced Thursday that the archdiocese will be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection next week, as the Catholic church in New Mexico has settled numerous claims of sexual abuse by clergy over the years and is close to depleting its reserves. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)
An advocate and survivor of sexual abuse, points to the photos of Catholic priests accused of sexual misconduct by victims during a news conference Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Orange, Calif. Lawyer Mike Reck on Thursday said that's many more than those reported by the Diocese and demanded greater transparency. The Diocese of Orange says the lawyers are trying to re-litigate old claims that the church takes any accusations of abuse "extraordinarily seriously." (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
This photo shows the residence and office of the Archbishop of Agana in Guam on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018. The house was listed as one of the non-essential properties owned by the Catholic Church in Guam, which announced on Wednesday that it will file for Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy to avoid trial in dozens of lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse by priests and move toward settlements. The funds for future victims claims will come from the sale of non-essential church properties and insurance. (AP Photo/Grace Garces Bordallo)
This Oct. 26, 2018 photo shows Marian Home and Village in Fort Dodge, Iowa. A bishop is vowing to relocate a priest who had been placed in the Iowa retirement home next to a Catholic school, despite a history of sexually abusing boys. The move comes in response to an Associated Press story exposing the church's three-decade cover-up of abuse committed by the Rev. Jerome Coyle. Coyle admitted in 1986 that he had sexually abused approximately 50 boys over the prior 20 years while serving at several parishes in Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
FILE - In this Wednesday Oct. 24, 2018 file photo, a demonstrator holds up protest signs at the Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. as over 100 people held a rally at the state Capitol Wednesday following the Senate's GOP majority's decision the previous week to leave Harrisburg without voting on a bill that would give victims a two-year window to file lawsuits that would otherwise be outdated. As U.S. Catholic bishops gather for an important national assembly, the clergy sex abuse crisis dominates their agenda. But it's only one of several daunting challenges facing the nation's largest religious denomination. While federal and state law enforcement agencies widen their investigations of abuse, the church finds itself with ever fewer priests and nuns in service. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)
Carolyn Fortney, a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of her family's Roman Catholic parish priest as a child, awaits legislation in the Pennsylvania Capitol to respond to a landmark state grand jury report on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Marc Levy)
Survivors of child sexual abuse hug in the Pennsylvania Capitol while awaiting legislation to respond to a landmark state grand jury report on child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Marc Levy)
Catholic Archbishop Paul Etienne is shown Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, at his office in Anchorage, Alaska. Etienne said the Anchorage Archdiocese has ordered an independent review of sexual abuse claims by reviewing the files of priests and others associated with the archdiocese since it was established in 1966. (AP Photo/Rachel D'Oro)
Three survivors of child sexual abuse, Diana Vojtasek, left, Mary McHale and Taylor Ecker, wear tape over their mouths as they demonstrate in the Pennsylvania Capitol, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 in Harrisburg, Pa. Vojtasek and McHale testified in front of a state grand jury that said more than 300 Roman Catholic priests had abused at least 1,000 children over the past seven decades in six Pennsylvania dioceses and accused senior church officials of systematically covering up complaints. (AP Photo/Marc Levy)
Protesters carry a map of Poland with 255 documented cases of sexual abuse of minors by the country's Catholic priests, as they march in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, demanding the church to stop protecting pedophile priests. The writing on the banner reads: "Bishop. Hiding Pedophilia is a Crime." (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
A map is presented showing Poland with 255 documented cases of sexual abuse of minors by the country's Catholic priests, during a demonstration in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. A private foundation in Poland published the map in the latest development pressuring Poland’s church to admit and take responsibility for such abuse cases. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
Manuel Vega, who says he was sexually abused by a priest over a five-year period decades ago, pauses as he talks about his lawsuit against the Vatican, seeking the names of all offenders within the church worldwide, at a news conference in Los Angeles Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. Vega, now 52, reached a settlement with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2007, but his attorneys said Thursday that doesn't release the Vatican from responsibility. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, Oct. 3 in federal court in California, accuses the Vatican of placing the Rev. Fidencio Silva-Flores in a position of power at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Oxnard, Calif., and says it should have known he posed a danger to children. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, the archbishop of Santiago, arrives to the prosecutor’s office in Rancagua, Chile, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. A prosecutor is questioning Ezzati about allegedly covering up years of child sex abuse committed by members of the country’s Catholic Church. (Jorge Loyola/Aton Chile via AP)
An advocate and survivor of sexual abuse, points to the photos of present and former bishops in the Diocese of Orange while accusing them of doing little or nothing on clerical sexual misconduct during a news conference Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Orange, Calif. The Diocese of Orange said in a statement that the firm was trying to re-litigate old claims and the church takes any accusations of abuse "extraordinarily seriously." The diocese issued a report in 2016 saying 14 clergy accused of abuse were removed from ministry. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Bishops attend the opening mass of the German bishops' conference in Fulda, Germany, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018 where the bishops will discuss a study on sexual abuse in the Catholic church in Germany. (Arne Dedert/dpa via AP)
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office shows Father Manuel LaRosa-Lopez. On Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. a third person has accused the Houston-area priest of fondling him when he was a teenager, in a case that has called attention to how high-profile Cardinal Daniel DiNardo's response to sexual abuse within the church. (Montgomery County Sheriff's Office via AP file)
A Catholic woman fills out forms seeking the formal renunciation of her religion in protest of the innumerous cases of sexual abuse by the clergy, in Santiago, Chile, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018. The event was organized the Skeptic Association of Chile to support and show people how to formally disaffiliate from the Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Sept. 12, 2018 photo, Gabriel, a sex abuse victim of Rev. Julio Grassi, who did not want to show his face, holds one of four books written by Argentine criminal defense attorney Marcelo Sancinetti, that makes the argument that Grassi is innocent and his victims are lying, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Gabriel said he is still waiting for Francis to acknowledge his pain, given the Supreme Court has now ruled that he indeed was assaulted by Grassi when he was 13. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Parishioners kneel as Providence diocese Bishop Thomas Tobin, right begins Mass at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence, R.I., Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. Tobin called for a day of prayer and penance he called for due to the sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Jennifer McDermott)
Children walk past the Antonio Provolo Institute in La Plata, Argentina, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. Authorities in Argentina carried out raids Thursday at a Catholic-run school for youths with hearing disabilities as part of an investigation into alleged sexual abuse of vulnerable children that has shocked the Pope Francis’s homeland. (Santiago Hafford/La Nacion via AP) ARGENTINA OUT - NO PUBLICAR EN ARGENTINA
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AP writer John O'Connor reported from Springfield, Illinois.

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