May 03, 2006

Accused Naperville pastor proclaims innocence

Chicago Sun-Times

May 3, 2006


During weekend services at Holy Spirit Catholic Community, the Rev. Richard Bennett, church pastor, denied the abuse allegations detailed in a lawsuit filed last week.

"Father Bennett did not celebrate Mass, but what he did do was read a statement from the altar which categorically denied making any sexual advances toward this young man," said a parishioner from Naperville who attended one of the weekend Masses.

On Thursday, an Arizona man filed a lawsuit claiming two priests in the Joliet Diocese sexually abused him beginning when he was 11 years old in 1975. Tim Greco, 43, said in the suit that he was in a shower with the Rev. Philip Dedera in the rectory at St. Pius X Church in Lombard when Bennett walked in and discovered the priest and boy naked together. Greco alleges that Dedera repeatedly abused him for more than a year and that Bennett molested him once.

Posted by kshaw at May 3, 2006 05:19 PM