February 02, 2006

Deposition of bishop from Joliet diocese released

ABC 7l

February 2, 2006 - A DuPage County judge released a deposition of the bishop of the Joliet diocese Thursday. Bishop Joseph Imesch was being questioned regarding his handling of sexual abuse allegations involving priests.

This deposition was done as part of a lawsuit brought by a man claiming he was victimized by a priest years ago. Bishop Imesch gave this deposition in August of last year but it was sealed by the court until attorneys for an alleged victim and the press argued successfully for its release.

"With secrecy comes harm to children, with openness comes protection of children," said Marc Pearlman, Alleged Victim's Attorney.

The questioning of the bishop covered more than seven-and-a-half hours, including breaks.

During the deposition, an attorney for an alleged victims asks, "Tell us the occasions in which you have allowed priests to continue in ministry in or out of the Diocese after allegations of sexual misconduct have been made and deemed to have been credible."

Bishop Imesch responds, "I'm not certain that I can tell you all of them. I could probably tell you some of them. (He names three names) I'm not sure there were any others."

On Thursday, the man who is suing the diocese, alleging abuse spoke about the release of this document. He asked to have his identity disguised.

"The church has operated so long in secrecy. This begins the process of getting information out in public so parishioners, Catholic people can realize what's going on in the church," said the victim.

Posted by kshaw at February 2, 2006 10:38 PM