Dioceses had also insufficiently investigated some allegations, the report said, adding that the attorney general's office "believes that additional allegations should be deemed 'credible' or 'substantiated' by the Illinois Dioceses."
The investigation also "found multiple examples where the Illinois Dioceses failed to notify law enforcement or DCFS of allegations they received related to clergy sexual abuse of minors."
While its findings were only preliminary, the report said that the attorney general's office "has reviewed enough information to conclude that the Illinois Dioceses will not resolve the clergy sexual abuse crisis on their own. It appears that the Illinois Dioceses have lost sight of both the key tenet of the Charter and the most obvious human need as a result of these abhorrent acts of abuse: the healing and reconciliation of survivors."
"Long after legal remedies have expired, the Catholic Church has the ability and moral responsibility to survivors to offer support and services, and to take swift action to remove abusive clergy. The actions taken by the Catholic Church should always be survivor-focused and with the goal of holding abusers accountable in a transparent manner," it concluded.
In response to the report, the Archdiocese of Chicago said that it was unsure whether, or how, the report might apply to its conduct.
"The nature of the report makes it difficult to discern which generalized findings apply to the Archdiocese of Chicago," a Dec. 19 statement from the archdiocese read.
"The Archdiocese of Chicago has been at the forefront of dealing with the issue of clergy sexual abuse for nearly three decades," the statement added.
A spokesperson for the archdiocese told CNA that its policies require it to investigate and report every allegation of clerical sexual abuse it receives, regardless of whether the accused cleric was living at the allegation was made.
"The idea that clergy sexual abuse of minors is more extensive than [we] reported is just false," archdiocesan attorney William Kunkel told the Washington Post.
"It's not fair to put out a list of people accused, any more than it would be fair to put out a list of accused reporters," he added.
The Diocese of Joliet said Dec. 19 that it had "received no formal or informal indication from the Attorney General that we failed to adequately investigate any allegation of abuse and/or report it to authorities. The Attorney General has also not informed the Diocese of Joliet of any inaccuracies or omissions in our files that would prompt additions or corrections to the list of priests with credible allegations that is on our website."
"The Diocese of Joliet expresses its genuine regret and profound sympathy to any victims and survivors of sexual abuse by clergy in the Diocese of Joliet and elsewhere. We are committed to promoting the healing and reconciliation of survivors."
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The Diocese of Springfield also expressed regret.
"Revisiting the pain caused to victims of abuse has motivated us to redouble our commitments to the reforms undertaken many years ago and to sustain our vigilance," Bishop Thomas Paprocki said in a Dec. 19 statement.
"Reviewing these past cases has also reminded us that many years ago people didn't publicly discuss the kind of salacious allegations documented in these files," Bishop Paprocki added.
"A virtuous intent to protect the faithful from scandal unfortunately prevented the transparency and awareness that has helped us confront this problem more directly over the past fifteen years. We are continuing to learn and strive to improve our assistance for those who are victims and survivors of child sexual abuse."
Chicago's Cardinal Blase Cupich added similar sentiments.
"I want to express again the profound regret of the whole church for our failures to address the scourge of clerical sexual abuse," Cupich said.