The report of the sexual abuse investigation conducted by the attorney general's office in the US state of Illinois into the churches of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese has been published.
According to the report by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, at least 1,997 children were sexually abused by 451 Catholic clergy in all dioceses across the state between 1950 and 2019.
The nearly 700-page report contains detailed accounts of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, Ihlas News Agency reported.
Lawyers and investigators from the Attorney General's Office reviewed more than 100,000 pages of documents kept by the dioceses over five years and interviewed more than 600 victims in person, via e-mail and telephone.
Prior to Attorney General Raoul's investigation, according to the Catholic dioceses of Illinois, there were 103 clergymen who were found to have sexually abused children, while this number increased to 451 as a result of the investigation.
It was also determined that the church did not stand by those still alive, ignored or covered up reports of abuse, and that victims were re-victimized by the church when they wanted to report abuse.
It was emphasized that church officials prioritized the reputation of the institution instead of protecting children, often gave advantages to abusive priests, even gave abusers the chance to abuse again, and covered up the abuse by misleading the public.
Church officials were in a position to report the abuse, but chose not to do so.
It was also pointed out that the trauma suffered by the victims continued for years, while the clergy who abused children were protected by being transferred to different regions.
Source: Ihlas News Agency