Church documents name 15 priests in abuse probe

An Illinois court has ordered the release of church documents related to sexual abuse investigations.

The name of 15 more priests, who worked in the Joliet Diocese from the 1930s through 2006 were released today.  All of them, according to church documents, had credible accusations of abuse throughout their career.  Many of them continued in their pastoral duties after allegations came to light, sometimes being transferred from church to church through the Joliet Diocese.

Of the 15 priests named today, five of them are now dead.  The 10 others have been removed from ministry roles.

In his order, Judge Michael Powers said there is a compelling public interest to protect children from being sexually exploited and abused and that any privacy rights of individual priests must yield to the state’s public interest to protect children.

In a statement released today, the current head of the Joliet Diocese, Bishop Daniel Conlon, who was appointed in 2011, said in part,

“The tragic history of child abuse in the Diocese of Joliet has unfolded publicly over a long period. No human action, really, can fix the past. My focus is on the future, trying to do everything in my power to assure that the children of this diocese are safe.”

The attorneys who pushed for the release of these church files tell WGN that having these documents out in the open not only will shed light on the inner workings of the church but let’s those abused know they aren’t alone.

Will_County_Court_Order_Diocese Can Be Read Here (pdf)

 

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8 comments

    • kirby1414

      In a documentary that I saw – this kind of sex abuse goes on all over the world – – Just more publicity in the United States

  • snapjudy

    Thankfully the courts are beginning to take seriously the cover ups of child sex crimes within the Catholic church hierarchy by making them release documents of predator clerics to expose the truth. It is disturbing that bishops and church officials have to be forced by outside law enforcement and victims attorneys to do the right thing to protect kids today.
    Let's hope that every person who saw, suspected or may have been harmed by James Burnett or anyone on this list of predator clergy, will find the courage and strength to speak up and contact police not the church officials. They are not the proper officials to be investigating child sex crimes, no matter how long ago the abuse happened.

    It is extremely rare that a child predator has only one victim. Some have many.
    Also keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com,
    "SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

  • donna

    There are many to blame for the sex abuse in the Catholic church being an issue today over fifty years, if parents had not accepted large sums of money and agreed to never talk about it again the church would not have been able to get away with for all these years,.

  • pissed_off

    its funny how the clerics abuse the children and then pray for forgiveness and everything is ok in their minds. I wish the bible would be changed that some sins are UNFORGIVABLE. Anybody who abuses a child should be punished by death and sent to hell for eternity.

  • Daniel Haszard

    Thanks for creating an awareness of this issue!
    Jehovah’s Witnesses hit with $28 million sex abuse settlement Oakland,Calif.-Google it.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses have many issues with sexual molestation of children.The religion and its members are more concerned about protecting the group image than the victims.

    TWO WITNESSES required.
    The Jehovah’s Witnesses require ‘two witnesses’ to a crime or it didn’t happen,you are supposed to ‘leave it in
    Jehovah’s hands’ wait on the lord.
    How many pedophiles allow an eyewitness?
    These people engage in a door to door ministry, possibly exposing children to pedophiles.
    The Watchtower corporation has paid out millions in settlement money already.

    Danny Haszard *tell the truth don't be afraid*

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