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More Documents Released Detailing Sex Abuse Allegations in Joliet Diocese

April 30, 2014  ·  By HM&M



A year after the Diocese of Joliet released a list of priests who were credibly accused of sexually abusing children, more documents detailing abuse allegations are coming to light.

As part of a legal settlement, the Catholic Diocese of Joliet last year began releasing internal documents related to the accused priest — including files that show that for decades, bishops had been aware of the sexual abuse accusations. More than 7,000 documents were to be released.

Attorney Mark McKenna, whose firm Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. represents 15 alleged victims who have cases pending against the diocese, said a list created by the diocese’s review board shows that the diocese has been keeping track of allegations against priests at least since the 1960s.

On Wednesday, files for the following priests were made public:

Fr. James Burnett, who served at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena, as well as serving as rector at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet. Removed from ministry in 2006.
Fr. Phillip Dedera, formerly of St. Andrew in Romeoville and St. Pius X Church in Lombard; removed from ministry in 2002.
Fr. Michael Gibbney, formerly of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church Bolingbrook; removed from ministry in 1992.
Fr. Lawrence Gibbs, formerly of Christ the King Church in Lombard; removed from ministry in 1992.
Fr. Carroll Howlin, formerly of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Romeoville; removed from ministry in 2002.
Fr. Fred Lenczynski, convicted of sexually abusing boys at St. Isaac Jogues Church in Hinsdale; removed from ministry in 2002.
Fr. Lawrence Mullins, formerly of the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet; removed from ministry in 1993.
Fr. Anthony Ross, formerly of St. John the Baptist in Winfield and the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet; removed from ministry in 2002.
Fr. William Virtue, formerly of St. Mary in Mokena; removed from ministry in 2006 in the Diocese of Peoria.

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