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Illinois Attorney General updates investigation into priests and abuse

Lisa Madigan
Lisa Madigan

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Thursday that she expects a statewide investigation into Catholic dioceses to uncover more allegations of priest abuse against minors.

Madigan in a news release said since her office started the investigation in late August the Archdiocese of Chicago and the dioceses of Peoria and Rockford have disclosed the names of 24 priests who have been credibly accused of abuse against minors.

The release said Madigan expects more names will be disclosed.

"Our initial review has found the number of Catholic clergy in Illinois with credible allegations of sexual abuse against minors is more extensive than the Church previously has disclosed to the public," Madigan said in the release.

Madigan also said the dioceses of Belleville, Peoria and Rockford have begun publishing lists of clergy members who have been credibly accused of abusing minors.

The Diocese of Joliet since 2006 has published a list of priests credibly accused of abuse against minors, which appears on its website. The list names 35 priests, many of whom are deceased.

Madigan began her investigation after a Pennsylvania grand jury report listed 300 priests in that state connected to 1,000 cases of abuse dating back to the 1940s. Seven of those priests had connections to Illinois.

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