Former Joliet Diocese bishop remembered

Daily Southtown

Nick Swedberg
Daily Southtown

Family members of Joseph Imesch, the longtime bishop of the Joliet Diocese who died last week, remembered him Monday for his warm personality and tireless efforts to help those in need.

Visitation was held from 1 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet. Imesch died Dec. 22 at the age of 84.

A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the cathedral, 604 N. Raynor Ave.

Imesch, known for his support of women and gay rights in the church, spent 27 years as the third bishop with the Joliet Diocese before retiring in 2006.

But his tenure was embroiled in controversy toward its end because of his actions to downplay the Catholic Church’s scandal involving sexually abusive priests. Imesch faced allegations that he failed to report to police the sexual abuse of children by priests and transferred abusive priests to new parishes rather than removing them from ministry after they received mental health care.

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