February 08, 2006

Rector is placed on leave

The Herald News

By Ted Slowik
staff writer

JOLIET The Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet placed the rector of the Cathedral of St. Raymond on administrative leave Tuesday after a Gulf War veteran went public with a sexual abuse allegation.

The Rev. James Burnett denies Dan Shanahan's claim that the priest molested him about 40 times beginning when he was 8 years old in 1978 at St. Mary Church in Mokena. Some of the abuse happened in a confessional at the church, the ex-Marine said.

"He told me that this was a secret between me, you and God," Shanahan said during a press conference at an attorney's Chicago office.

Shanahan, 34, who now works in real estate in Phoenix, said he broke his silence by telling his sister in December and first contacted the diocese shortly before Christmas. His sister, Christine McGovern of Chicago, said she was frustrated by how Joliet Bishop Joseph Imesch handled the claim when they spoke by phone about eight weeks ago.

Posted by kshaw at February 8, 2006 08:23 AM