Today the Diocese of Joliet released more of its internal documents relating to sexual abuse by its priests. This is part of the ongoing disclosure required as part of a legal settlement last year.
This most recent batch of documents sheds more light on 16 of the 34 priests included on the diocese's list of credibly accused clergy, and includes a 438-page file on Rev. James Burnett. Burnett was accused of molesting an 8 year-old boy while serving at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mokena. He later served as rector at the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet.
It is tragic to read how much the church knew about clergy sex abuse, and even more tragic to realize how little it did to protect the most vulnerable members of its flock. Yet the unprecedented disclosures are empowering more victims to acknowledge the harm they suffered and to demand their rights.