Report shines light on 395 Catholic priests, church staff accused of sex abuse

A 182-page report released Wednesday compiled information about nearly 400 Catholic clergy members and church staff in Illinois who have been publicly accused of sexual misconduct in the state’s six dioceses, including dozens in Chicago.

Jeff Anderson & Associates, a Minnesota-based law firm, published the report that included names, background information, work histories and photographs of 395 priests and laypeople accused throughout the state.

Though a seminarian, a teacher and several deacons were on the list, the vast majority were priests.

The law firm said, by its count, hundreds of Illinoisans were the victims of child sexual abuse at the hands of people tied to the church.

“Those at the top have chosen not to believe so many survivors for so many years who have come forward with reports and have chosen, then, to keep secret not only the identities of those offenders, but [also] those who have been complicit in that concealment at the top,” said Jeff Anderson, the trial attorney who heads the firm that published the report.

List ‘represents the past’

Mary Jane Doerr, the director of the Chicago Archdiocese’s Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, said at a press conference Wednesday that her office’s efforts to protect children from abuse in the church go “beyond a list of names.”

“What’s frustrating to me is the lists represent the past,” Doerr said. “And it was not a good past, but we don’t do that anymore. That’s not what’s going on today. Today, all allegations are taken seriously.”

Anderson’s report named about 115 clergy members from the Chicago Archdiocese, of which 77 were pri...

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