March 05, 2006

Bless me father, for you have sinned

Chicago Sun-Times

March 5, 2006


The sentence was buried deep within the 247 pages of the recently released deposition given by Joliet Bishop Joseph Imesch as part of a priest-abuse lawsuit pending against him and the Joliet Roman Catholic Diocese.

In the glare of the deposition's sensational revelations about priests hot-tubbing and playing "games'' in the nude with young boys, the five simple words on page 201 went unnoticed by nearly everyone.

Everyone but me.

At one point in his deposition, Imesch was asked by the victim's counsel to list the Joliet priests he believed had been credibly accused of sexual abuse. After the bishop rattled off 17 names, the attorney inquired about a priest he hadn't mentioned.

"Ruffalo,'' he said. "What about Ruffalo?''

"I'm not sure of that,'' Imesch answered.

"Not sure,'' Imesch said, despite the fact the Joliet Diocese previously had paid a settlement to a man who claimed he'd been abused by the Rev. Richard Ruffalo when the priest was pastor at St. Mary's Parish in Park Forest in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Perhaps I can clear up Imesch's uncertainty about Father Ruffalo.

Posted by kshaw at March 5, 2006 07:37 AM