March 28, 2006

Pastor: 'I am innocent of all the accusations'

Daily Southtown

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

By Ted Slowik

A Joliet pastor is publicly declaring that he's innocent of a claim that he sexually abused a boy at a Mokena parish more than 25 years ago.

The Rev. James Burnett wrote to parishioners at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in a letter distributed in parish bulletins last weekend.

"I am innocent of all the accusations that have been made against me, and I know that innocence will prevail," Burnett wrote.

Joliet Bishop Joseph Imesch placed Burnett on administrative leave Feb. 7, the day that Dan Shanahan, 34, of Phoenix, Ariz., publicly accused Burnett of repeatedly molesting him, beginning when Shanahan was 8 in 1978. Shanahan claims that some of the abuse occurred in a confessional at St. Mary Church in Mokena.

Posted by kshaw at March 28, 2006 09:05 AM