As part of a lawsuit settlement, the Catholic Diocese of Joliet will release more than 7,000 internal documents that reportedly show that every bishop since the 1950s has been aware of diocese priests sexually abusing children.
The documents include personnel files and other items related to 15 diocese priests accused of sexual abuse over a 50-year period ending in the 1990s. They will be released by plaintiff David Rudofski through his Chicago lawyer, Terrence Johnson, as part of his settlement with the diocese.
Although the diocese bears the Joliet name, it actually encompasses seven counties—Will, DuPage, Grundy, Kendall, Ford, Iroquois and Kankakee.
Read more: Joliet Diocese Updates List of Credibly Accused Abusers
The settlement, approved Tuesday by Will County Judge Michael Powers, includes an undisclosed amount of money for Rudofski and a written statement from current Joliet Diocese Bishop R. Daniel Conlon admitting Rev. James Burnett's sexual abuse of Rudofski, Daniel Shanahan and a third man whose identity has not been made public.
In the first step toward making the diocese's records public, three memos not related to the Rudofski case were released by Johnson. The victims' names were redacted.
(Click on the photo above to see the actual documents that have been released.)
The documents relate to sexual abuse reportedly carried out by the Rev. James Frederick in 1967 involving several boys working and staying overnight at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Lockport. In them, the boys describe to the Rev. Roger Kaffer, then the seminary rector, how the Rev. James Frederick touched and rubbed their penises while they were in bed at night.
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