Names sought of all Illinois order priests accused of abuse

Names sought of all Illinois order priests accused of abuse

In a file photo, Jeff Anderson, an attorney and advocate for clergy sex abuse victims, speaks at a news conference in Phoenix on Wednesday, June 26, 2019. (Credit: Bob Christie/AP.)

An attorney is calling on Catholic bishops across Illinois to end the “dangerous deceit” and release a full list of religious order priests who face credible sexual abuse accusations.

CHICAGO — An attorney is calling on Catholic bishops across Illinois to end the “dangerous deceit” and release a full list of religious order priests who face credible sexual abuse accusations.

Attorney Jeff Anderson last week made public the identities of 175 priests accused of sex abuse, including 117 who previously worked in the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Those names came from lawsuits as well as lists compiled by the religious orders themselves, among other sources, he said.

Anderson said the archdiocese has released the names of only two of those problem priests.

“Catholic bishops in Illinois have been hiding the names, the identities of religious order priests who have been publicly accused of child sexual abuse,” he said Thursday during an a online news conference.

“It raises the question: How many more kids are going to get hurt because of the non-disclosure?”

The Chicago archdiocese declined to comment on Anderson’s demand.

Cardinal Blase Cupich has demanded for more than two years that Catholic religious orders which operate in his territory fully disclose to him any information about their members who now face or have faced accusations of child sexual abuse.

The Archdiocese of Chicago, which grants the orders permission to operate within its jurisdiction, has refused to say what it knows about predatory religious order clergy.

Some religious orders publicly list credibly accused clerics, while others don’t.

Religious orders have their own leaders and operate relatively freely within the dioceses, though they need permission from the local bishop, such as Cupich, if they engage in public ministry in a parish, at a school or hospital or in some other charitable endeavor.

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