PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria Diocese is responding after Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul held a press conference Tuesday on reports of Catholic clergy child sex abuse in Illinois.
According to Raoul’s report, between 1950 and 2019, the Catholic clergy abused 1,997 children.
In response to the report, the Peoria Diocese has released the following statement:
Today, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office released its long-awaitedPeoria Diocese
report regarding sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. They reviewed files dating
back to the 1800s. The report highlights criminal behavior that has historically been
present in every sector of human life, and which is all the more shocking when
perpetrated by those who have publicly committed themselves to serving God and
his people. Much of the information in the Report dates to more than half a century
ago. The steps that the Church in the United States put into place some twenty
years ago have gone a long way to address the scourge of sexual abuse and it is our
sincere hope that other areas of our society will implement similar safeguards that
protect the most vulnerable among us. Over the past twenty years, the Diocese
under Bishop Daniel Jenky’s leadership, with the assistance of the Diocesan attorney
Patricia Gibson, the Vicars General and the Diocesan Review Board has endeavored
to treat all survivors with the utmost respect and sensitivity. As noted in the
Attorney General’s report, the Diocese has implemented significant changes that
have made the Church safer for children. The Diocese reports all allegations of
abuse to civil authorities. To the Diocese’s knowledge, there is not a single priest of
the Diocese with a substantiated allegation who is currently in ministry or who has
not been reported to authorities. Bishop Louis Tylka and the Catholic Diocese of
Peoria remain committed to our efforts to heal the wounds of those who have
suffered abuse and to the protection of God’s children everywhere.
According to the Catholic Conference of Illinois, 27% of Illinois is Catholic.