February 01, 2006

Priest removed after abuse charges

Chicago Sun-Times

February 1, 2006


Cardinal Francis George has removed a 65-year-old Roman Catholic priest from ministry at a South Holland parish pending the completion of a review by the Chicago archdiocese into allegations the priest sexually abused two children in the 1960s, a spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed today.

The Rev. Joseph R. Bennett, pastor of Holy Ghost parish in South Holland since 1997, faces allegations that he sexually abused two girls while he was a priest at Chicago's St. John de La Salle parish, 120th and Martin Luther King Drive, between 1967 and 1973, said archdiocesan spokesman Jim Dwyer.

The two alleged victims, now women in their 40s, brought their allegations to the attention of the Chicago archdiocese in late 2003 and last year, according to Dwyer and Jeff Anderson, an attorney for the women.

One woman, who asked to be referred to only as "Therese," said Bennett molested her for three years beginning when she was 8 years old.

Posted by kshaw at February 1, 2006 06:29 PM