Controversial Joliet bishop laid to rest

Chicago Tribune

Nick Swedberg and Erin Gallagher
Daily Southtown

Bishop Joseph Imesch spent nearly three decades as a dedicated shepherd to the members of the Joliet Diocese.

In that time, he forged deep bonds of friendship, and fought hard for major changes to the church he believed were due.

But his 27-year tenure was not without its black marks. Many in and outside the church criticized his involvement in the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, saying he sheltered accused priests by shuffling them among parishes.

As mourners recalled both the good and the bad, Imesch’s body was laid to rest Tuesday in Resurrection Cemetery in Romeoville. The 84-year-old had retired as third bishop of the Joliet Diocese in 2006, but remained an emeritus bishop until his death last week.

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