The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Statement Regarding Resignation of
Bishop Joseph Imesch, Diocese of Joliet, IL


For Immediate Release:
May 16, 2006

Statement by Barbara Blaine
SNAP President, 312-399-4747

The clerical culture of cover-up went deep in the diocese of Joliet. Bishop Imesch's retirement alone will not guarantee reform.

It is tempting for some to naively believe that things will magically and suddenly improve in the Joliet Diocese with this change, but that is reckless and wishful thinking.

Imesch's tenure has a sordid history. Instead of protecting children Imesch shielded priest predators. Instead of helping victims heal, Imesch directed his attorneys to use legal hard-ball tactics and treated victims as enemies. Most are left with no help for healing from the Diocese of Joliet. In the next few weeks, until his successor takes over, we hope Bishop Imesch will find the courage to finally come clean and reach out to victims still suffering.

Far too many secrets have been deeply held. Justice has been viciously denied. We hope that Bishop Imesch's departure will enable current and former insiders to speak up about corruption in the Joliet Diocese.




Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests