May 17, 2006

New bishop is eager to lift spirits

Chicago Tribune

By Margaret Ramirez and Hal Dardick, Tribune staff reporters. Tribune staff reporter David Heinzmann contributed to this story
Published May 17, 2006

The man who will succeed beleaguered Bishop Joseph Imesch as head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet was described Tuesday as a warm, engaging leader--a bishop who never stopped being a good priest.

Bishop J. Peter Sartain, 53, is a Southern-born-and-bred Catholic who has led the Diocese of Little Rock, Ark., since 2000. In his new role, he takes over a diocese of about 650,000 Catholics, about six times the size of Arkansas' 107,000 faithful.

He also inherits feelings of anger and betrayal over Imesch's handling of sex-abuse allegations against diocese priests--an ongoing controversy on a much larger scale than anything Sartain has faced in his young career.

Posted by kshaw at May 17, 2006 06:02 AM