500 claims in Illinois were never made public by the Church

The Catholic Church in the US State of Illinois has withheld over 500 claims of sexual abuse against priests and clergy members, an investigation has found.

The State's Attorney General's preliminary findings show that despite the six dioceeses having received 690 sexual abuse allegations against priests - only 185 were ever made public.

Lisa Madigan's ongoing investigation began in August and has seen her meet with bishops, lawyers and diocesan representatives.

She says allegations have often not been adequately investigated by the dioceses or not investigated at all - while law enforcement was also not notified.

The investigation revealed that allegations frequently have not been adequately investigated by the dioceses or not investigated at all.

In many cases, the Church failed to notify law enforcement of allegations of child sexual abuse.