Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced in a press release that she would contact all of the Catholic dioceses in the state as a follow-up to the release this week of the Pennsylvania grand jury report outlining sexual abuse allegations against more than 300 priests in that state over 70 years and affecting more than 1,000 victims.
“The Catholic Church has a moral obligation to provide its parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois,” Madigan stated in the press release.
The longtime attorney general, who is not running for re-election in November, noted that a review of the Pennsylvania grand jury report indicates that at least seven priests have ties to Illinois.
“The Chicago Archdiocese has agreed to meet with me,” Madigan stated in the release. “I plan to reach out to the other dioceses in Illinois to have the same conversation and expect the bishops will agree and cooperate fully.”
Robert Gilligan, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois, offers the following statement on the upcoming inquiries by the attorney general:
“Since 2002, the six Catholic dioceses in Illinois have followed the procedures and protocols of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People established that year by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. We look forward to working with Attorney General Madigan on these inquiries.”