Priest Says He's Sorry for 'Angry' Comments

By Stacy St. Clair
Chicago Daily Herald
April 19, 2002

The. Rev. Richard Ross apologized Thursday for comments he made about his brother's accusers.

Ross, who serves at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Joliet, said earlier this week that he wanted to take a baseball bat to the people who are making accusations against priests years after the offense are said to have occurred.

His brother, Anthony, is being investigated on allegations he molested a teenage boy in 1983. The boy's parents are demanding Anthony Ross no longer be allowed to minister.

"I don't have much sympathy for people who somehow couldn't stop whatever happened," Richard Ross said this week. "I'll take all of these people who were abused and I'll abuse them myself. You can quote me on that."

On Thursday, Richard Ross issued a statement saying he thought the conversation with a Joliet Herald-News reporter was off-the- record. He also apologized to victims of abuse and called his thoughts "abhorrent."

"My conversation with the reporter was very lengthy during which time I became very emotional, extremely angry and was out of control," he wrote. "My comments we're inexcusable!"

Bishop Joseph L. Imesch of the Joliet Diocese issued a similar statement condemning Ross' comments. The bishop - who has suspended four priests in the past month after abuse charges surfaced against them - called the comment "absolutely contrary to our beliefs and sensitivities.

"We cannot reconcile his statements with his exemplary ministry, nor can we attempt to explain them," Imesch said.


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