Chicago cardinal defends compensation plan, urges more information for abusers after abuse report in Illinois

ROME — The archbishop of Chicago on Thursday urged the Illinois attorney general to release information on newly discovered allegations of clerical abuse included in a statewide investigative report, saying he would add names to his list of accused priests if the allegations are proven. . .

In his first interview since the report was released on Tuesday, Cardinal Blase Cupich was surprised that the 125 new cases involved priests he had never heard of. He expressed disappointment that the attorney general’s office did not submit new complaints to the archdiocese for review as it did during the five-year investigation.

“We thought we had that relationship with the attorney general and we’re disappointed to hear this for the first time,” Cupich said.

He spoke to The Associated Press during his periodic visit to the Vatican, where he sits on church committees and serves as a close adviser to Pope Francis.

In the report, investigators found that more than 450 Catholic clergy in six Illinois dioceses had placed nearly 2,000 children in shelters since 1950, confirming that the problem was far worse than officials admitted in 2018 at the start of a state investigation. The Archdiocese of Chicago, which is the third largest in the United States, reported 68 clergy abusers in 2018. During the investigation, it added names and entered Tuesday with 150 names on the list of clergy it has accused.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s report found 125 more abusers in the archdiocese, most of them were religious priests whose cases could not be resolved by the archdiocese but by their religious orders. There was also an opportunity for victims to go directly to the attorney general’s office, bypassing the entire church to report their crimes.

Cupich said he would be happy to add the names to his list but needed information on how Raoul’s investigators back up his claims. When asked why it wasn’t enough for the church to accept the charges the attorney general’s office confirmed, Cupich said the archdiocese just needed to understand what was going on.

“I assure the people of this: If these cases are confirmed and we are given information about how they happened, we will post them on our website,” he said, speaking in the forum of the Pontifical North American College. , the American seminary in Rome where Cupich lives while in town on Vatican business.

Cupich admitted that the report shows the difficulties faced by the Catholic Church in cases of abuse, where religious orders such as the Jesuits, the Franciscans, the Oblates and the Marists are often unable to assess and respond because they, and not the diocesan leadership, keep people. files. Cupich acknowledged that there is more that the Holy See can and should do to establish religious laws.

“Should there really be more directives from the central office of the church regarding religious orders? I would love that,” he said. “I want to make sure we put everything into it, because I’ll tell you this: When we do this and a survivor sees it, it brings healing. That’s why I do it.”

Cupich said he would be willing to refuse to allow unruly priests to work in his archdiocese, as the report said, although he said he “may use the carrot more than the stick, because we need these religious orders.”

On another tip from the report, Cupich was very defensive. Raoul’s investigators called for an independent representation and compensation system for victims similar to those established by the archdioceses of Los Angeles and New York. The report says the third-party process provides victims with “a private, non-adversarial environment outside the jurisdiction of the diocese to be heard and redressed for their suffering.”

Mr. Cupich said that he does not want to take advantage of compensation projects because this will prevent the church from providing pastoral care to the affected people. He said he will continue with the plan he has been doing for many years.

“My concern about partnering with someone is that we turn ourselves into a business, not a church,” he said.


Teresa Crawford contributed from Chicago.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *