State AGs double down on objections to Church’s handling of sex abuse

NEW YORK - Two state attorneys general that have issued reports on the Catholic Church’s handling of clerical sexual abuse cases doubled-down on Monday, defending their efforts and saying the Church cannot be responsible for policing itself.

Former Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Josh Shapiro, Attorney General of Pennsylvania, took part in a panel discussion at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, where Madigan said the Church “failed to react properly, they haven’t put in place the policies, they haven’t put in place procedures, they haven’t admitted what has happened,” when it came to its handling of clerical abuse.

In December, Madigan released a report saying that the state’s six dioceses had not released the names of more than 500 priests accused of abuse. The report was a preliminary look into Illinois’ handling of sex abuse cases that is now being carried on by her successor, Kwame Raoul.

Madigan’s report follows a wave of state investigations into the Catholic Church set off by Shapiro’s August grand jury report, which he described as “the largest scope in this country…maybe in the history of the world.”

On Monday, Shapiro sharply criticized what he described as the Church’s efforts to minimize or hide cases of abuse.

“Contained in the files of these predator priests were words like ‘horseplay’ that was used to describe the rape of an 11-year-old boy,” Shapiro said of his investigation.

In a podcast interview with the cen...

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