I’m not sure which is the bigger story: that Bishop Joseph Imesch of Joliet, Illinois, was interrupted by a protester during a Holy Week Mass or that Imesch was honoring two clergy accused of molesting minors.
Let’s quickly recall who Imesch is. Okay?
So last Monday, at the Chrism Mass, Imesch engages in his customary practice of using the Mass to honor priests who have reached milestones. Among them was Fr. Salvatore Formusa, 90, who has been removed from ministry after the diocese announced just the previous Sunday that he had been credibly accused of sex abuse. Another was Bishop Daniel Ryan, retired bishop of Springfield and former auxiliary of the diocese who retired in 2002 after being accused of having sex with a 15-year-old boy. (Once again, go to the Roman Catholic Faithful site and search on the term “Ryan”.)
However, I still don’t think an outburst during Mass is appropriate. It wasn’t right when people were protesting parish closings and it’s not right here. What the man could have done is walk out and then approach the bishop afterward. Yet would it have gotten the attention it has if he had done it that way? Hmm.