February 06, 2006

Letter from Bishop Imesch

Catholic Explorer

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

I deeply regret the pain and embarrassment that you have experienced from the media reports these past days. Those reports concerned a six-hour deposition I gave several months ago about a number of instances of sexual abuse by priests of the Joliet Diocese. Most of what you have read or heard happened more than 20 years ago and had already been reported in the newspapers.

When the actions of these priests were reported to me, I realized that the behavior was inappropriate. Whether or not there were any police investigations, all priests who were accused of inappropriate behavior were immediately interviewed and received professional treatment or left ministry.

The actions of those priests happened before psychologists recognized that behavior of that kind was indicative of a severe problem that could not be adequately treated. I relied heavily on the judgment of professional therapists when they concluded that a priest was fit for return to ministry. Some priests were recommended for restricted ministry. Some of these carried out their responsibilities well and did so with the commendation of their supervisors.

Posted by kshaw at February 6, 2006 01:08 PM