April 01, 2006

Accused priests' names to be posted

Belleville News-Democrat

Associated Press
JOLIET - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet will publish on its Web site the names of priests who have been accused of sexually abusing children, the bishop announced Friday.

The diocese will list the names of priests "against whom a credible allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor has been made," Bishop Joseph Imesch said in a letter to parishioners. "We have taken this step in the hope of further facilitating healing and closure for those who have been affected by the tragedy of sexual abuse of a minor."

Imesch also apologized in the letter for his handling of a sexual abuse case that allegedly took place in the diocese in the 1960s.

In a 2005 deposition related to the case that was unsealed in February, Imesch said he transferred to another parish a priest who skinny-dipped and played poker in the nude with young boys. The behavior was inappropriate, but was not sexual abuse, Imesch testified.

"I know that some of my words in that deposition have caused pain to many in the Diocese and have hurt our Church," Imesch wrote. "For all the hurt I have caused by my words and decisions, by what I have done or ought to have done, I am truly sorry."

Posted by kshaw at April 1, 2006 09:19 AM