Couple leaves words ‘priest rapist’ off Wheaton cemetery tombstone

Chicago Daily Herald

December 30, 2017

By Chacour Koop

“She supported priest rapist victims” is not chiseled into the grave marker for Jack Ruhl’s mother.

Instead, the tombstone he and his wife, Diane Ruhl, installed at Assumption Cemetery in Wheaton a few days before Christmas says, “She supported priest sexual abuse victims.”

It’s a compromise the Michigan couple made with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet, which called the proposed wording too explicit. Ruhl conceded that this was the best he could do for his mother, Marguerite N. Ridgeway of Lisle, who died in July 2015.

“Nowadays and for some time, there’s been so much ambiguity about what sexual abuse is,” Ruhl said in a phone interview Saturday. “I wanted to use the word rape because to me it stands for the most extreme, dehumanizing act one person can inflict upon another.”

Ridgeway converted to Catholicism after her marriage and was devout for many years until she learned of allegations that a priest had sexually abused Diane Ruhl, her daughter-in-law, Ruhl said.

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