Cardinal Blase J. Cupich

Survivors first

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Following the release of the report of Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul on the sexual abuse of minors by clerics in the six dioceses of our state, my office offered an initial response which can be found at

We must think first of the survivors of sexual abuse who carry the burden of these crimes through their lives. On behalf of the archdiocese, I apologize to all who have been harmed by the shameful behavior of clerics who abused and the inexcusable failure of church leaders to prevent and properly respond to it. Survivors will forever be in our prayers, and we have devoted ourselves to rooting out this problem and providing healing to victims.

As to the report, one can only imagine that, with the enormous volume of documents the state reviewed covering a 70-year period, some disagreement could arise about how the facts are related in the document. We will continue to work with the state to clarify our concerns, but for now I would like to state without ambiguity that the Archdiocese of Chicago has reported every known allegation of child sexual abuse by a cleric to the civil authorities. In 2002, we cooperated with the office of then-State’s Attorney Richard Devine to report all allegations found in an extensive search of historical files, we have reported every allegation since, and will continue to do so. Nothing discovered in the state’s investigation contradicts this assertion.

In 2006 we first published and updated repeatedly a list that identifies clerics who are or were priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago with allegations substantiated by our Independent Review Board. In time, we expanded our list to include priests of religious orders and other dioceses, if these priests served in a ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago, and if their respective orders or dioceses substantiated an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against them and communicated this information to us. We do not have access to the files of clerics of other dioceses and orders who served in a ministry of the archdiocese.

The state has asked us to add to our list the names of clerics and lay brothers belonging to religious orders, as well as clerics of other dioceses, which the report says have substantiated allegations of abuse of a minor against them.  We will carefully review these additional names and any information the state may need to provide. After communicating with the respective orders, we then can determine if they should be added to our list in accord with the criteria noted above.

In sum, if there is a disagreement between the Archdiocese of Chicago and the attorney general’s office, it does not involve any failure on our part to provide assistance to victims and disclose names to civil authorities, but rather it is about the scope of our published list. We believe it is also our obligation to assure the public and our parishioners that what we post is both accurate and complete, and we intend to meet it. We have committed to assisting all affected by this crime, to notifying law enforcement of allegations and to publicly naming those clerics who served in a ministry of the archdiocese and have a substantiated allegation against them. I will do my best to keep that promise as we move forward in our efforts to bring healing to victim-survivors, and to keep our children safe.



  • clergy sexual abuse