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Cardinal Cupich 'disappointed' Illinois AG not forwarding new sex abuse cases to archdiocese

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ROME (AP) — The archbishop of Chicago urged the Illinois attorney general Thursday to provide information about newly uncovered cases of clergy sex abuse included in a statewide investigative report, saying he cannot reliably verify the accused priests’ own evidence. Will add names to the list. If the claims were confirmed.

In his first interview since the release of the report on Tuesday, Cardinal Blaise Cupich expressed surprise that some of the 125 new cases involved priests he had never heard of. He expressed disappointment that the Attorney General’s Office had not forwarded the new claims to the Archdiocese to look into, as it had done during the five-year investigation.

Cardinal Kupich said, “We thought we had such a relationship with the Attorney General and are therefore disappointed that we are hearing of these for the first time.”

“We thought we had this kind of relationship with the attorney general and are so disappointed that we’re hearing these for the first time,” Cupich said.

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

In the report, investigators found that more than 450 Catholic priests in six dioceses in Illinois had sexually abused nearly 2,000 children since the 1950s, making it clear the problem was at the start of a state review compared to the hierarchy in 2018. I was worse off. The Archdiocese of Chicago, the third largest in the United States, reported 68 abusive priests in 2018. During the investigation, it added more names and the list of credibly accused clergy went into Tuesday with 150 names.

The Attorney General’s report found an additional 125 abusers in the archdiocese, many of them priests of religious orders whose affairs would not necessarily have been handled by the archdiocese but by their religious orders.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s report found an additional 125 abusers in the archdiocese, many of them priests of religious orders whose affairs would not necessarily have been handled by the archdiocese but by their religious orders. There was also the possibility that victims went directly to the Attorney General’s investigators, bypassing the church to report the claims entirely.

Cupich said he would gladly add names to his list, but wanted information on how Raoul’s investigators verified the claims. Asked why it was not enough for the church to accept cases proven by the Attorney General’s office, Kapich said the archdiocese needed to understand the process.

Speaking in the courtyard of the Pontifical North American College, he said, “I can assure the public: if these cases are confirmed and we are informed of how it was done, we will put them on our website.” Will give.” , the American seminary in Rome where Kapich resides when he is in town on Vatican business.

“Should there, indeed, be more direction from the central office of the Church to speak to religious orders? I would be in favor of it.”

Kapich acknowledges that religious orders such as the Jesuits, Franciscans, Oblates and Marists often escape scrutiny and accountability in the way the Catholic Church handles cases of abuse, because they hold personnel rather than diocesan leadership. files. Cupich agreed that the Holy See can and should do more to bring religious orders into line.

“Should there, in fact, be more direction from the central office of the church to talk to religious orders? I would be in favor of that,” he said. “I want to make sure we lay everything out, because I want you to Can tell this: When we do this and a trauma survivor sees it, it brings healing. That’s why I do this.

Cupich said he would be willing to refuse to employ non-compliant priests in his archdiocese, as recommended by the report, although he added that he “would rather use the carrot than the stick, because we These religious orders are needed.”

However, on another recommendation of the report, Cupich was more defensive. Raul’s investigators sought an independent arbitration and compensation process for victims, as established by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and New York. The report argues that the third-party process gives victims “a confidential non-conflict space outside the control of the diocese to be heard and financially compensated for the trauma they have suffered.”

Cupich said that he did not want to outsource the compensation process because this would deprive the Church of the opportunity to provide pastoral care to the victims. He said that he would continue the process which has been going on for years.

“My concern about contracting this out to a different third party is that we turn ourselves into a business and not a church,” he said.

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Teresa Crawford contributed from Chicago.