Five year Illinois state investigation of Roman Catholic yields report alleging nearly 2000 victims since 1950


A five-year investigation into sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic clergy across Illinois has produced a sweeping report alleging more than 450 offenders and nearly 2,000 victims since 1950.

The report released by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul says several former Catholic bishops in the Springfield diocese – William O’Connor, Joseph McNicholas, and Daniel Ryan – ignored warnings about misconduct by priests in the diocese.

The report says those bishops continued moving credibly accused priests from parish to parish, subjecting dozens of additional children to abuse.

Current Bishop Thomas John Paprocki says there has not been a credible claim of abuse in the past 20 years, and says that shows that effective changes have been made.

But Raoul’s report says the Springfield diocese continues to downplay past cases of abuse and has not been fully transparent about the scope of the problem.

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