[2024 Update] Illinois Catholic Church Abuse Lawsuit

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An Overview of the Illinois Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Cases

On this page, we’ll examine the Illinois Catholic Church Sexual Abuse lawsuits, the nature of the cases, when the sexual abuse cases occurred, what victims of Catholic Church sexual abuse can do for help, and much more.

Illinois Attorney General Comprehensive Report Details Institutional Sexual Abuse Committed By Catholic Clergy

A scathing report presented by the Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul details decades of child sexual abuse committed by Catholic clergy, Catholic priests, and others in Catholic dioceses across the state.

According to the Attorney General’s investigation, more than 450 Catholic clergymen abused nearly 2,000 children over the course of more than seven decades.

Sexually abusive priests were protected by the Catholic Church for decades and faced little to no punishment for the crimes they committed against innocent children.

Illinois Catholic Church Abuse Lawsuit; Catholic Church Abuse; Catholic Church Sexual Abuse; Clergy Sex Abuse

If you or a loved one were a victim of sexual abuse of any kind by Catholic Church leaders, Catholic priests, Catholic clergy, or others involved with the Catholic Church, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the free and confidential chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a claim instantly.

Our law firm is committed to protecting the legal rights and best interests of child sexual abuse victims.

We are sensitive to the needs of victims abused by Catholic clergy, and we will do everything in our power to hold liable parties accountable for what happened.

Please reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We are here for you during this difficult time and we promise to be passionate advocates for your unique situation.

Table of Contents

Illinois Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawsuit: An Overview

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul presented a report detailing sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests, Catholic bishops, and other Church officials.

The office’s investigation found that efforts to report abuse were silenced by clergy members and church officials.

Instead of doing their job to report abuse and investigate allegations within religious communities, abusive clergy and their co-conspirators organized an effort to escape responsibility for what happened.

Such allegations of sexual abuse fell on deaf ears and many victims were unable to seek criminal prosecution of abusive priests or civil litigation against the Catholic Church.

Abuse survivors are encouraged to reach out to an experienced Sexual Abuse Lawyer.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page for a free case evaluation.

Our goal is to help survivors of sexual abuse by clergy seek financial compensation.

We are sensitive to the needs of sexual abuse victims and we are here to support survivors through a difficult time.

Any inquiry to our law firm will remain confidential and protected.

We support survivors no matter what.

Reach out to us for more information.

Illinois Catholic Dioceses Named in the Attorney General Report

The list of alleged abusers and accused priests named in the office’s investigation is lengthy.

Many of these priests accused of sexual abuse worked in Catholic schools and had unsupervised interactions with children.

It’s also to be considered that since many incidents of child sexual abuse

The Attorney General report on child sexual abuse by clergy found that more than 300 Catholic clergy members had abused more than 1,000 children over the prior 70 years.

Children were sexually abused in six dioceses across Illinois:

  • Archdiocese of Chicago
  • Diocese of Belleville
  • Diocese of Joliet
  • Diocese of Peoria
  • Diocese of Rockford
  • Diocese of Springfield

What Has Been the Response from the Catholic Church?

In terms of a response to the Illinois Attorney General report on sex abuse of children in the Catholic Church, the Chicago Archdiocese has published videos and other information on the report.

Cardinal Blase Cupich of the Chicago Archdiocese stated in a video that they have “reported ALL allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy to civil authorities”, and “there are no hidden or undisclosed cases”.

Despite the statements released by Catholic leaders, an NPR report found the following:

  • “…the report includes the names and details of 451 Catholic priests as well as religious brothers who abused at least 1,997 children across Illinois. And that’s over a 70-year period. The report says the various Catholic dioceses in the state had only listed 103 substantiated abuse of priests on their websites. Now, that’s a big difference – 451 versus 103.”
  • “[The Archdiocese of Chicago] says it has concerns that the data are being presented in a way that could be misleading. The archdiocese says these alleged abusers had already been disclosed, but the report listed even more.”

The Archdiocese also published an informational page with charts and key dates of sexual abuse by clergy.

The reports from the Chicago Archdiocese found that 50% of sexual abuse incidents occurred before 1978, and that the year with the highest amount of sexual abuse reports came in 2002 with the enactment of the charter mentioned below.

In 2002, the Conference of Catholic Bishops organized a “comprehensive set of procedures” for addressing sexual abuse allegations by Catholic clergy.

Called the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People”, the Conference of Catholic Bishops directs action in the following matters:

  • Creating a safe environment for children and young people;
  • Healing and reconciliation of victims and survivors;
  • Making prompt and effective response to allegations;
  • Cooperating with civil authorities;
  • Disciplining offenders;
  • Providing for means of accountability for the future to ensure the problem continues to be effectively dealt with through the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection and the National Review Board.

Despite these promises of holding perpetrators of sex abuse accountable for their actions and safeguarding children, more allegations of sexual abuse by clergy have come to light since the charter’s enactment.

Lawsuits for Clergy Sex Abuse Claims: How Can We Achieve Justice for Victims Abused by Catholic Church Members?

Currently, the State of Illinois does not have a “look-back window” to handle civil claims for sexual abuse.

“Look-back window” is a term used regarding laws that allow victims of sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits regardless of the established statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims in Illinois is currently twenty years.

Many of the sexual abuse allegations in the report took place decades ago, and as a result, criminal prosecution or civil litigation may not be possible.

In light of this, we are among other advocates urging the Illinois Attorney General and other relevant state agencies to implement laws that allow victims abused by church officials to seek civil lawsuits.

With that being said, there still may be the possibility for victims to file lawsuits against liable parties even without a look-back window or relevant law stating the explicit ability for victims of child sex abuse to seek compensation.

Contact our attorneys for more information and advice on your claim.

Illinois Catholic Church Sexual Abuse: Not the First Church Abuse Allegations, and Definitely Not the Last

The sexual abuse allegations plaguing the Illinois Catholic Dioceses is not the first time a number of church officials have been named in sexual abuse investigations.

Law enforcement agencies have been well aware of rampant sexual abuse by clergy across the country for decades.

Maryland Catholic Church Sexual Abuse

Just earlier this year, hundreds of abusive priests and church officials were named in a sexual abuse investigation published by the Maryland Attorney General.

The report laid out allegations of sexual abuse and a cover up of that abuse for decades by Catholic Church officials in Baltimore.

Victims of child sexual abuse in the Maryland Catholic Church total over 600, and the number of sexually abusive priests and church clergy total over 150.

Pennsylvania Catholic Church Sexual Abuse

The Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on sexual abuse, published in 2018, found that sexual abuse in six of eight Pennsylvania dioceses was rampant and covered up extensively by church leaders.

The list named over 300 abusive priests, resulting in criminal charges of only two priests accused of sexual abuse.

This investigation prompted other states to follow their lead and investigate allegations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church dioceses and produce similar reports.

California Catholic Church Sexual Abuse (Settlements Reached in 2007 & 2012)

Under laws that removed statutes of limitations for sexual abuse crimes, multiple settlements were reached with the Roman Catholic Church and Archdiocese of Los Angeles, San Diego, and other parishes in California throughout the 2000s and 2010s.

In 2007, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles settled clergy sex abuse cases for at least $600 million.

Mohths later, the Roman Catholic Church in San Diego settled 144 child sexual abuse cases for $198.1 million.

Other Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Settlements

Other major settlements for clergy sex abuse claims include the following:

  • 2003: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston paid $85 million to 552 victims of child sexual abuse. This settlement was in part prompted by an investigation by the Boston Globe that won the Pulitzer Prize.
  • 2007: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland (OR) paid $75 million to 177 victims of clergy sex abuse.
  • 2007: Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane (WA) paid $48 million to more than 160 victims of clergy sex abuse.
  • 1998: The Roman Catholic Dioceses of Dallas paid $30.9 million to twelve victims of one priest.
  • 2008: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver paid $5.5 million to settle 18 child sexual abuse claims.
  • 2003: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville paid $25.7 million to settle 240 child sexual abuse cases involving 34 abusive priests.

Southern Baptist Church Sexual Abuse

Child abuse and child sexual abuse in churches across the United States is shockingly common.

Last year, an investigative report of widespread abuse in Southern Baptist Churches across the United States revealed a cover up and systematic sexual abuse of children by Baptist Church officials.

Investigations into civil lawsuits for sexual abuse in Southern Baptist Churches are ongoing.

TorHoerman Law: Investigating Litigation for Catholic Church Sexual Abuse in Illinois

Church officials, Catholic leaders, and other members of the Catholic Church committed sexual abuse for decades without any punishment.

The actions of these church officials were aided and supported by the Catholic Church, who were wholly implicit in allowing the abuse to occur and doing little to stop or punish it.

Our law firm is investigating the allegations of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and Catholic priests, strategizing the best avenue possible to support survivors and hold liable parties accountable for the harm they’ve caused.

If you or a loved one have suffered sexual abuse from Catholic Church officials, Catholic clergy, Catholic priests, or others, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and seek financial compensation for what you’ve been through.

Contact TorHoerman Law for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a claim. Our chatbot is 100% confidential and secure.

We are passionate advocates for survivors of sexual abuse and childhood sexual abuse.

We will do everything in our power to hold liable parties accountable for what they’ve done and allowed to happen.

Our lawyers and legal staff are sensitive to your needs and will stand by your side in an effort to exact justice.

Reach out to us for a free consultation or to learn more about how our law firm can help you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When Did Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Occur in Illinois?

    According the report, sexual abuse by clergy occurred for decades dating back to the 1950s.

    The Archdiocese of Chicago stated that 50% of sexual abuse allegations occurred before 1978.

    However, the Attorney General investigation found that the Chicago Archdiocese underreported the true number of abusers.

    The Catholic Church listed just 103 substantiated child sexual abusers.

    The Attorney General report reveals names and detailed information of 451 Catholic clergy and religious brothers who abused at least 1,997 children across all dioceses in Illinois.

  • What Catholic Dioceses are Mentioned in the Attorney General's Investigation?

    The Attorney General report on child sexual abuse by clergy found that more than 300 Catholic clergy members had abused more than 1,000 children over the prior 70 years.

    Children were sexually abused in six dioceses across Illinois:

    • Archdiocese of Chicago
    • Diocese of Belleville
    • Diocese of Joliet
    • Diocese of Peoria
    • Diocese of Rockford
    • Diocese of Springfield

  • Who Can Be Held Liable for Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church?

    The legal strategy for holding the Catholic Church liable for rampant sexual abuse committed by clergy, church officials, church leaders, and religious brothers is under investigation.

    Our lawyers are working to strategize the most effective route possible to hold the Catholic Church accountable for the sexual abuse that occurred in Illinois dioceses and other parishes for decades.

    If you or a loved one suffered sexual abuse at a Catholic Church or Catholic Schools, you may be eligible to take legal action and seek compensation.

    Contact our law firm for more information.

    You can also use the chatbot on this page for a free case evaluation.

  • What is Being Done to Hold Sexually Abusive Priests and Clergy Liable?

    Lawsuits filed on behalf of victims of child sexual abuse have resulted in significant settlements over the years.

    As several abusive priests and clergy have died decades ago and the statute of limitations bars criminal prosecution for many others’ crimes, the route for justice for victims could be civil litigation.

    Civil lawsuits can provide financial compensation to victims and punish the Catholic Church monetarily for the sexual abuse they allowed and supported.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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