Joliet Diocese List of Abusers Includes Former Glen Ellyn Pastor

Total of priests believed to have abused children now stands at 34. List of credibly accused abusers includes former Glen Ellyn pastor Lawrence Gibbs.

Also by Amanda Luevano, Downers Grove Patch

In addition to the thousands of pages to be released detailing the abuse by Catholic priests in the Joliet Diocese, the organization Tuesday also released an updated list of credibly accused abusers.

The list includes Lawrence Gibbs, who was ordained in 1973 and served at churches in Glen Ellyn, Downers Grove, Lockport and Lombard before he was removed from ministry in 1992.

New allegations filed in June 2012 accuse Gibbs of molesting several young boys in the 70s. Gibbs' accuser, who went to catechism school at St. James the Apostle Catholic Church in Glen Ellyn, says Gibbs gave several boys alcohol and porn and had the boys play games, swim and perform other activities naked during a retreat at a Wisconsin cabin in 1977, according to a CBS Chicago report.

Gibbs is scheduled to appear in Will County court April 18 for a status hearing.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Gibbs was accused in civil suits of molesting children during his stints at churches in Lombard, Lockport and St. James the Apostle Catholic Church in Glen Ellyn, according to CBS Chicago.

He was charged in January 1993 by a 22-year-old man who claimed Gibbs sexually abused him up to 50 times starting at age 11 while an associate pastor in Lockport and later when the man attended a Catholic school in Lemont, according to a 1993 Chicago Tribune report.

He was also charged that month by a man who identified himself as John Doe, who claimed he was sexually abused by Gibbs 12 years earlier, according to the Tribune.

The list of Joliet Diocesan priests with credible allegations now stands at 34. According an NBC5 report, the list includes the names of priests named in lawsuits and some who have already been convicted.

Find the updated list here.

As part of a lawsuit settlement also approved Tuesday, 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 To Release Documents Related to Sex Abuse by Priests

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

There are plenty of ways to keep up on Glen Ellyn news:

Madalyn March 21, 2013 at 03:33 PM
They were let go but not prosecuted. Where are they now? They could be anywhere. That is the problem! If they were put through the court system, they would have been either exonerated or imprisoned. Now they could have been working with children for the last 10-20 years and possibly harming others. Also if they are innocent they were not given the opportunity to clear their name. The people at fault are the ones who were entrusted with our children's and BROTHER'S welfare and they didn't care about them.
GLewey March 21, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Please be accurate! Larry Gibbs was an associate, NEVER a pastor at St. James. This is much too serious a subject to make errors. Please check and then recheck your facts.
Judy Jones March 22, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Thanks to the victim for his courage and determination to expose the truth and get these documents released. Bishop Conlon should make public all documents of all the credibly accuse clerics. It is very frustrating and disturbing that the Bishops have to be forced by the victims and the courts to release their secret documents, but it seems that is what it is going to take in order to get high ranking church officials to change their ways and stop this abuse of power. It is time for the new Pope to take decisive actions to punish those who have and who are still covering up sex crimes against kids. Until this happens, children are still not safe within the archaic secret system. Let's hope that every person who saw, suspected or may have been harmed by anyone in the Joliet diocese, will find the courage and strength to speak up and contact police not the church officials. They are not the proper officials to be investigating child sex crimes, no matter how long ago the abuse happened. Also keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com, "SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)
Michael Moese March 23, 2013 at 09:44 PM
This entire issue of sexual abuse by priests, combined with the egregious manner in which not only the diocese, but also the Vatican, has handled the issue, makes it extremely difficult to take anything the Catholic church says seriously. They are an incredibly hypocritical group of people.
Walter Bruun March 24, 2013 at 09:04 AM
@ Michael - the way the Church handled the issue is not just egregious, it's downright criminal. No. 1, they never reported instances of child rape to the police, nor did they turn the perpetrators in, no. 2 they simply transferred priests who they know to be rapists from one parish or diocese to another, exposing more children to these rapists and did not inform the parishoners of the danger these priests presented to their children, and no. 3 they conspired - up to the highest level, apparently - to commit no.s 1 & 2. This did not happen in just the US, but all over the world, for decades, in some cases the Church went so far as to secretly smuggle priests who - on the rare occasions it happened - were actually tried & convicted of child rape out of the countries where they were convicted and thus escape justice, and often put those priests into contact with more children! The Church needs to be investigated under the RICO act because they are an organization that has been involved with criminal activity and conspired to hush up and continue that activity until some brave, damaged souls had the courage to start pointing fingers and naming names - if that had never happened I have no doubt that children would continue to be raped & the Church would continue to hush it up, pay off the parents & blame the victims.
David Deegan March 24, 2013 at 10:08 PM
Let's also compile a lsit of the hundreds of sexual predator teachers who are protected by the unions and still in the schools. The church scandal was headline news for a year and most of the accusations came against long dead priests who couldn't defend themselves, and only came after the money was flowing. It is wrong and sick, but the number pales in comparison to the number of educators arrested every single year. Our children have a 100x greater chance of being approached by a sicko in their school than in their church. The unions defend these perverts and shuffle them to new schools.
Walter Bruun March 25, 2013 at 07:12 AM
@ David D, - No, you're completely wrong, whenever any accusations are filed against public school teachers they are immediately taken out of the classroom, law enforcement is involved and they are either charged & convicted or proven innocent, and even if innocent they're not likely to teach in a classroom again, I'd like you to list just one instance to prove what you're saying is true, if there's "hundreds" of predators in the public schools every year then it should be real easy to prove your statements. The church scandal has not just been headlines for a year, this has been in the headlines for at least 20 years, and long before there was any money flowing, many of these preists are still alive, a few are in jail, but most are in foreign countries where the church has given them a nice retirement retreat, they're not even defrocked! Continued...
Walter Bruun March 25, 2013 at 07:42 AM
The reason relatively few priests have been arrested is because the parents of the molested kids went to the church first instead of going to the police like they should have, the church consistently covered the crimes up, moved priests around and paid off parents - these are well documented facts & more facts are coming to light, there are many recent cases that have happened within the last couple of years - In August 2011, activist women's group Gabriela assisted a 17-year old girl in filing sexual abuse allegations against a priest in Butuan province. The bishop of Butuan, Juan de Dios Pueblos, took the priest under his custody without handing him over to civil and church authorities. Continued...
Walter Bruun March 25, 2013 at 07:43 AM
It was only after the money was flowing that the Catholic Church attempted to address the issue, which proves it is more concerned with revenue than protecting children - in the '50s, Gerald Fitzgerald, the founder of a religious order that treats Roman Catholic priests who molest children, concluded "(such) offenders were unlikely to change and should not be returned to ministry," and this was discussed with Pope Paul VI (1897 – 1978) and "in correspondence with several bishops" but they still kept priests in place, did not tell their parishoners and did not involve law enforcement. In the United States the 2004 John Jay Report commissioned and funded by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) was based on volunteer surveys completed by the Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States. The 2004 John Jay Report was based on a study of 10,667 allegations against 4,392 priests accused of engaging in sexual abuse of a minor between 1950 and 2002 - that's over 200/yr!.
David Deegan March 25, 2013 at 02:16 PM
Recent study indicates 4% of students have been victims of sexual assault of some form. That means millions of kids. Not a week goes y that a teacher somewhere isn't accused or arrested. This doesn't seem to bother anybody, but if they were priests liberal media would be all over it.
donald dohr March 25, 2013 at 03:07 PM
David D., why bring in loaded terms like "liberal media" and confuse the issue by alluding to other areas where abuse occurs when the topic at hand is the situarion presented? You seems to have an agenda that ignores facts and erupts out of your biased prejudices.
David Deegan March 25, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Donald D. Why bring it up? Because the priest scandal was national news for years and is still being brought u, yet every single week a teacher is arested for abusing a child yet the same coverage is not happening. That is not my bias but fact. If you want I could post 100 links for you in a matter of minutes. My bias is that because it is happening in the schools that affect everyone people won't broachthe subject. Donald, how about a rebuttal to my claims, instead of an attack on my biases. So far the retorts against my posts have ot addressed the issue, just as my biased prejudices claim.
'etsyBay Aka-Betsy March 25, 2013 at 08:00 PM
The courts found Father Arno Dennerlein innocent, so how can he still be considered a "credibly accused abuser" when the accuser admitted that he lied about the alleged abuse??
David Deegan March 25, 2013 at 10:13 PM
'EtsyBay, let's not let facts get in the wayof a good Catholic Church bashing story.
Walter Bruun March 26, 2013 at 08:28 AM
@ Betsy - Fr. Dennerlein was NOT "found innocent" - DuPage Circuit Judge John T. Elsner ruled a new state law extending the time limit for lawsuits in cases of sexual abuse of children cannot be applied retroactively to revive the brothers’ allegations, however the case is still pending a Canonical hearing (a decade AFTER the charges were filed). The Welch brothers NEVER "admitted that he (actually THEY) lied about the... abuse", Dennerlien even admitted to one of the incidents. So what about the almost 5,000 other pedophile priests that we know about? Nice try - so nice to see the people defending religious institutions being so willing to disobey the "Thou shalt not bear false witness" commandment. The Welch brothers have had to face years of depression & counseling because of these pedophiles. @ David - cite the study you refer to, and some of the teachers who are being protected by the unions & are still in the classroom - since you say there are hundreds a year, or one every week (which only comes out to 52/yr - unlike the 200/yr. for the priests from the Church's own report) it should be real easy. If true it does bother me very much - and the media DOES cover those kind of stories quite extensively - like the WNHS teacher Klemm's case.
Walter Bruun March 26, 2013 at 08:34 AM
@ David - does the "study" you refer to about 4% of schoolage children/yr being victims of abuse say the abuse was committed by teachers, or by fellow students, or by parents/relatives/family friend, or by another school worker (bus driver, janitor), or by someone unkown to them?
David Deegan March 26, 2013 at 07:57 PM
Here's a link for all of you who refuse to face reality. http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/4/5/01552.shtml?iframe=true&width=90%&height=90%
David Deegan March 26, 2013 at 07:58 PM
And another. http://digitaljournal.com/article/290312
Justine Plachy March 28, 2013 at 08:28 PM
Oh yeah, because the media never twists the truth.
David Deegan March 29, 2013 at 05:37 AM
Yeah, Justine, they just keep making up false arrest records.
Walter Bruun March 31, 2013 at 07:12 AM
@ David,one study, and it doesn't seperate harrassment (or what defines what would be considered harrassment) from more serious charges. I have a feeling that Ms. Shakeshaft has an agenda, I would be more supportive of her claims if they were backed up at all by any other studies, any studies at all. If the report was that alarming, why didn't the Dept. of Ed at the time (in '04, that would be Ed. Sec. Paige) follow it up? Why hasn't Ms. Shakeshaft continued to sound the alarm? I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I'm sure it does, and if there are coverups of teacher abuse I would like to see it addressed, but from the experiences I have had as a parent of 2 girls in our public school system the issue of abuse of any kind is taken very seriously. Almost all of the documentation of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church comes from their own records, & they showed a systematic coverup of abuse across the globe for decades, with the knowledge of the Curch's highest authority, I wonder how much was left out. I think one of the things you're missing here is that almost all public schools are locally run at the district level, they could have as few as 100 students or as many as 500,000, there isn't a national shool system, and the only national organization that could address this issue, the Dept. of Ed., has been underfunded for years & has had people running it that have an interest in deliberately undermining our public education system (for example the use of charter schools).
Cat June 22, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Hey David Deegan. I got another story of "catholic bashing" for you. I grew up in GE in the 70s and went to St. James along with my 6 brothers. 3 of my brothers went to his cabin in Wonder Lake and 3 of my brothers are drug addicts and mentally ill. They haven't and at present time CANNOT come forward YET. "Boy games" that involved shoving items up them, urination games, making them wear diapers, etc. Want to hear more? False arrest records??? Larry Gibbs, the most notorious priest sex offender RUINED my brother's lives. One day I will convince them to file suit I hope. They deserve MILLIONS after what this did to their lives. They have and still do live in extreme poverty. Gibbs AND your beloved sick twisted catholic church. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »