Joliet Diocese expands list of priests facing 'credible' abuse allegations

The new list names the former chaplain of Driscoll Catholic High School in Addison as well as some long-deceased diocese priests.

Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 8:27 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 1:39 p.m. CDT

The Diocese of Joliet has expanded its public list of priests facing "credible" accusations of sexual abuse on Tuesday — some of whom are being named for the first time, including a former chaplain at Driscoll High School in Addison.

After releasing hundreds of documents in response to a court order Tuesday, the diocese separately added nine names to a list of priests facing credible or substantiated allegations of abuse. The list, which is available on the diocese website, now stands at 34.

Many of the newly added priests are facing allegations and have already been accused in lawsuits. Others are facing accusations that are still under investigation by church officials.

Some of the new priests, however, are being publicly implicated seemingly for the first time.

Among the additions is the Rev. William Dugal, who served as chaplain at Driscoll Catholic High School in Addison until 1996, according to his obituary. He was removed from ministry in 2002 and died in 2009, the same year that Driscoll closed.

More than half of the priests have passed away — decades ago, in some cases. In three instances, the accusations were received after the priests' death, according to the diocese.

One, the Rev. Paul Dinan, served at St. Peter the Apostle in Itasca in the late 1960s, according to his obituary, but he spent most of his career in and around Kankakee. He died in 1996 in Paxton, where the Catholic church's parish center is named in his honor.

For those priests whose accusations have not been brought forward in a criminal or civil court, it is not clear when the accusations were made or when the alleged abuse occurred.

The diocese updated its website list after making available the personnel files of 15 accused priests following a January court order.

Those 15 priests were among the 22 identified when the diocese list was first released in 2006. On Tuesday, a lawyer representing several of the men alleging abuse called on the diocese to release information on all the 34 men on the list.

"If the diocese wants to move forward, it should release whatever documents it has on the other 19 priests and anyone else that it knows was molesting children," Chris Hurley said in an email.

In a statement, Joliet Bishop Daniel Conlon timed the diocese's expansion of the list with the release of the documents.

He also highlighted many of the steps that have been taken to prevent and investigate abuse since he came into the position a year and a half ago.

"The tragic history of child abuse in the Diocese of Joliet has unfolded publicly over a long period," Conlon said in the statement. "No human action, really, can fix the past. My focus is on the future, trying to do everything in my power to assure that the children of this diocese are safe."

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