Sunday, April 30, 2006

The song remains the same

The Chicago Tribune reports today that Bishop Joseph Imesch of Joliet has offered a Chicago priest "any parish he wants" after that priest convinced his brother to report a sexual assault that occurred in 1975. Imesch's offer came after Father Michael Knotek asked Cardinal Francis George of Chicago to intervene in his brother George's case. George (the brother, not the cardinal) was assaulted by his parish priest when as a 16-year-old he went to inquire about going the seminary.

You can read the whole story yourself--I'm barely scratching the surface--but this kind of corruption is revolting to say the least. Setting aside what Imesch was actually trying to accomplish--maybe to get Michael to pressure his brother to keep quiet?--this is just another sign of how bishops think their dioceses are personal fiefdoms, with parishes as prizes at the ecclesial swapmeet. The diocese of Joliet claims it has no record of the offer (!!). That should surprise no one, since usually people don't keep records of bribes.

Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention, this offer came in 2002--after the U.S. bishops passed their charter for the protection of young people. Another sign that these bishops have changed not at all.

This is truly the last straw. Imesch should resign; actually he should have resigned after his incredibly callous testimony about past sex abuse in his diocese a few months ago. The fact that bishops behave in this was is a scandal as severe as sexual abuse itself. If anyone is "destroying the church," as so many are claiming sex abuse victims are with crippling lawsuits, it is these bishops, who, in their contempt for the people of God are making a mockery of the gospel and the church's mission.


At 3:51 PM, Anonymous anr said...

Father Michael Knotek was associate at my parish after his ordination and he's great. An intelligent and clear-thinking man with integrity and courage.

While he was with us, the Cardinal called in all the priests and told them they had to tell their parishioners that the question of admitting women to the priesthood was a closed question. And Father Knotek asked the Cardinal in this big meeting, "In my own personal opinion, I think ordaining women would be a good idea. Can I tell the people that?" and the Cardinal said he could tell the people that as long as he made it clear it was his own personal opinion. So he told us that whole story, repeating "My Own Personal Opinion" over and over just so we knew what was going on. A fine priest. God bless him.

As for Imesch in Joliet -- what a filthy thing he is. Good for the Tribune. How can the people of God in the Joliet diocese get him recalled?


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