Joliet Priest Sex Abuse Files Released
May 1, 2014
[The David Rudofski Child Protection Archive - BishopAccountability.org]
[Abuse by Clergy in Chicago]
The Daily Journal staff and wire report
Lawyers on Wednesday released a deposition with a long-serving bishop, along with letters and thousands of files from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet — documents they say show diocesan officials downplayed, dismissed and sometimes covered up sex abuse by priests.
In a 247-page deposition, Joseph L. Imesch, who was the Joliet bishop from 1979 to 2006, concedes under blistering questioning he sometimes allowed priests to stay on or transferred them as allegations they sexually abused children arose.
The Joliet diocese serves 655,000 churches and parishioners in seven counties, including Kankakee, Iroquois, Will, Ford, Grundy, Kendall and DuPage counties.
Taken as a whole, the documents paint a picture of a bishop who is consistently indecisive, at best, and diocese officials who seemed obsessed with ensuring the accusations couldn't sully their reputations, Jeff Anderson, whose law firm released the files on 16 priests, told reporters.
"The documents show a long-term pattern and long-term choices by ... bishops and their superiors to protect themselves and their priests at the peril of children," Anderson said.