February 25, 2006

Earlville priest removed for sexual misconduct

The Times

JONATHAN BILYK, jonb@mywebtimes.com, 431-4063

EARLVILLE -- A Roman Catholic priest who has ministered at churches in La Salle County and throughout Central Illinois for almost two decades has resigned as administrator at St. Theresa Church in Earlville after allegations surfaced of sexual misconduct with a minor about 25 years ago.

The Rev. William Virtue, acting at the request of Peoria Diocese Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, stepped down as leader of the small parish church in northern La Salle County, according to a statement issued Thursday by the Diocese of Peoria.

Virtue, who has served as administrator at St. Theresa since 2005, had ministered previously at the Earlville church from 1996 to 1999 and at Sacred Heart Church in Granville and St. Theresa Church in Cedar Point in 1992, in addition to six other ministry assignments in the diocese since 1988.

While the accusation of sexual misconduct with a minor was made recently, the diocese said the allegations deal with a matter that occurred while Virtue was serving as a priest in the Joliet Diocese about 25 years ago.

Posted by kshaw at February 25, 2006 07:14 AM