Second bishop with Joliet ties, Daniel Ryan, dies

The Herald-News [Joliet]
January 4, 2016

JOLIET – Less than a week after the funeral of one Diocese of Joliet bishop, a former diocese auxiliary bishop has died.

The Most Rev. Daniel Ryan died Thursday in Naperville at age 85, according to a news release from the Diocese of Springfield, where Ryan served as bishop for 15 years.

Ryan was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Joliet in 1956 and was assigned to be assistant pastor at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Joliet and chancery notary, according to the Joliet diocese website. After studying canon law at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, he returned to the diocese and was named assistant chancellor. He was appointed diocesan chancellor in 1965, before becoming vicar general in 1977.

Ryan then served as pastor of St. Michael Parish in Wheaton starting in 1979, before he was named auxiliary bishop in 1981.

In 1983, he was named the seventh bishop of Springfield, a position he held until his resignation in 1999.

Ryan’s resignation was abrupt, according to The State Journal-Register, and an independent investigative report in 2006 stated Ryan fostered “a culture of secrecy” that discouraged priests from coming forward about sexual misconduct. The report also stated that Ryan engaged in sexual misconduct with adults, which he used his authority to conceal, according to The State Journal-Register. Some Masses Ryan celebrated were picketed, but he was never charged or prosecuted.

Ryan’s death follows that of former Joliet diocese Bishop Joseph Imesch, who died Dec. 22 and faced criticism in the early 2000s for his response to reports of sex abuse of minors by clergy in the diocese.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests issued a news release after Ryan’s death.

“These two prelates [Ryan and Imesch], like nearly all of their U.S. colleagues, deserve little or no praise. They protected predators. They endangered innocent children. They kept crimes hidden from police,” the release stated.

Ryan attended the Passionist Preparatory Seminary in St. Louis.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in classical languages from St. Procopius College and completed his studies for priesthood at St. Procopius Seminary in Lisle.











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