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Why Did the Joliet Diocese Allow Child Abusers to be Ordained?

April 27, 2015  ·  By HM&M

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Over the span of 20 years, priests ordained by the Joliet Diocese allegedly abused many boys involved in church programs from the 1960s through 1980s. The Joliet Diocese knew about priests abusing children well before they did anything to protect children and remove pedophile priests from parished in the Diocese of Joliet. How did these priests become ordained and allowed to be around children if the diocese knew about sexual abuse by these priests? Sexual abuse by anyone is wrong, but being sexually abused by someone ordained of God by the Roman Catholic Church is especially corrupt. Children and their parents are supposed to be able to trust priests–the people who are ordained to uphold the standards of the church.

The Diocese of Joliet placed into parish assignments several men were considered poor candidates for ordination, including one who was asked to leave a Seminary where he was taking classes. Instead of denying them ordination, Joliet Diocese ordained these men and then covered up the allegations of abuse by moving the men to different parishes.

Among the Diocese of Joliet priests accused of abuse are Father James Nowak, Father Michael Gibbney, Father Lawrence Gibbs, Father Myles White and Father Fred Lyncyczk. Each of these priests is listed on the Diocese of Joliet’s recently updated “List of Priests with Credible/Substantiated Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors Made Against Them.” You can find the recently released files for these priests here. The accused priests were actively involved in these diocese parishes:

  • St. Boniface Catholic Church (Monee)
  • St. Mary Nativity School (Joliet)
  • St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church (Bolingbrook)
  • St. Charles Borremeo Seminary (Joliet)
  • St. Dominic Catholic Church (Bolingbrook)

Two of the accused priests were sent to prison for sexual abuse. Knowing that these priests were abusing minors, the Joliet Diocese should have put a stop to it and removed the priests from their positions to protect children. Instead, the Diocese of Joliet focused on protecting priests accused of sexual abuse.

In a recently reported settlement, Hurley McKenna & Mertz obtained a settlement of more than $14 million from the Diocese of Joliet for 14 men who were victims of sexual abuse. There are undoubtedly more victims of sexual abuse by priests—men and woman who are too afraid to come forward, and who feel that they are alone.

If you are a victim of sexual abuse by a priest, you are not alone. If you are a victim of sexual abuse by a priest, contact a Chicago sexual abuse attorney today. Hurley McKenna & Mertz believes that sexual abuse victims deserve justice and closure. Call us for a free case consultation today.

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