It is highly likely that the catholic church isn’t wriggling out of a raging sex scandal anytime soon.

Just when it seemed like Pope Francis was getting things under control, a new damning revelation emerges.

This time, almost 700 Catholic priests have gotten embroiled in a child sexual assault in the United States.

The priests have been accused of sexually assaulting children in Illinois, a far greater number than the Catholic Church had previously disclosed, the Midwestern US state’s top prosecutor revealed Wednesday.

AFP reports that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said the Church’s revelations that 185 clergy members were credibly accused of sexual abuse fell short of the number her office has uncovered.

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The preliminary results of an investigation that began in August found more than 500 additional priests and clergy members with sexual abuse allegations in the Midwestern state’s six dioceses — a total of at least 685 accused.

In a scathing statement, the attorney general’s office criticised the Church’s handling of the abuse allegations, saying investigations were lacking, and in many cases law enforcement and child welfare authorities were not notified.

“The preliminary stages of this investigation have already demonstrated that the Catholic Church cannot police itself,” Madigan said.

She added that the Church had failed to provide “a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois”.

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