February 06, 2006

Parishioners reeling amid abuse inquiries

Chicago Tribune

By Jon Yates and Charles Sheehan, Tribune staff reporters. Tribune staff reporter Margaret Ramirez and Manya Brachear contributed to this report
Published February 6, 2006

While parishioners at a South Holland Catholic church were informed officially Sunday that their pastor was under investigation for alleged child sexual abuse, members of a West Side church began the healing process amid similar allegations against another priest.

In a letter read at mass at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in South Holland, Bishop Joseph Perry told parishioners that Rev. Joseph Bennett has been "temporarily withdrawn" as pastor because of allegations accusing him of abusing minors more than 35 years ago.

The letter, written by Perry and read by Rev. Michael Enright, urged members with additional information about the 65-year-old Bennett to call the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago or the Cook County state's attorney's office.

Perry asked parishioners to pray "for the adults who brought this concern to the archdiocese, for Father Bennett and for all those affected by the horror of sexual abuse."

Posted by kshaw at February 6, 2006 07:38 AM