Archdiocese adds names to list of clergy with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse

By Michelle Martin | Staff writer
Wednesday, October 19, 2022

The list of clergy members with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor published on the Archdiocese of Chicago’s website grew from 78 to 149 on Oct. 14, after the archdiocese added the names of some priests who were deceased when the archdiocese received allegations against them, along with the names of priests from religious orders or priests from other dioceses who had allegations against them substantiated through their diocesan or religious order process.

The move came with the input of the Illinois attorney general’s office, which has been looking into the way all of Illinois’ six Catholic dioceses have responded to abuse allegations.

“The list expansion represents many months of work involving researching records and communicating with religious orders and dioceses,” said James Geoly, general counsel of the Archdiocese of Chicago. “Since the beginning of the attorney general’s investigation, we have cooperated fully. The attorney general has reviewed the archdiocese’s policies, including its website disclosures, and has made many constructive recommendations about ways to improve transparency and address the needs of survivors. Our policies are always being reviewed and improved, and we appreciate the attorney general’s contributions to that process. It is important to note that every archdiocesan cleric added to the list today was previously reported to law enforcement authorities. In addition, the vast majority of these cases are many decades old and the priests listed are deceased or long out of ministry.”

In addition to having previously reported all the allegations received by the archdiocese to civil authorities, Geoly said, victim-survivors were offered the services of the archdiocese’s Assistance Ministry when they came forward.

The expansion of the list comes as the archdiocese has changed the way it responds to allegations of abuse against deceased priests or deacons, Geoly said.

In the past, the diocesan review board only investigated allegations against living priests and deacons because it was charged with evaluating the men’s fitness for ministry and with preventing future abuse, neither of which apply to priests or deacons who are deceased, Geoly said.

“In the course of the attorney general’s investigation, they communicated to us that they have heard from many survivors that there is a great desire for allegations against deceased priests to be listed,” Geoly said, and several other dioceses already do so.

Going forward, the review board will investigate new claims against deceased clergy members to determine if their names should be added to the list. The board also reviewed previous allegations made against deceased priests with at least two allegations against them to determine if there was “sufficient reason” to add their names to the list, Geoly said.

Of the new names added to the list on the website, 16 are priests who had died before the archdiocese received the first allegation against them.

Another 49 are members of religious orders who served in archdiocesan ministry and had an allegation made against them somewhere else, and seven were extern priests from dioceses around the world who ministered in the archdiocese and had allegations made against them elsewhere.

Many of the religious order and extern priests were already listed as having credible allegations against them of sexual abuse of a minor on the websites of their communities or of their home dioceses, Geoly said.

The change in which clergy members are listed on the website is based on hearing from victim-survivors, who want to know that their claims have been taken seriously, and if other victim-survivors of the same perpetrator exist, to encourage them to come forward, he said.

“That’s based on learning,” Geoly said. “There’s a feeling of validation and recognition in seeing the name on the list.”

To view the list, visit


  • clergy sexual abuse

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