Advocate group names accused sexual predator priests who worked in Southern Illinois

CARBONDALE — Victims and advocates are calling on the Catholic Diocese of Belleville, which covers Southern Illinois, to provide a fuller view of the sexual offenders who have served as priests in the Southern Illinois area.

The Diocese’s list publicly names 17 priests who are “currently removed from ministry after credibly substantiated allegations of the sexual abuse of minors, or serious sexual misconduct with adults.”

But David Clohessy and Larry Antonsen, of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, believe names need to be added to that list, starting with nine clerics who worked in downstate Illinois, and have been accused of molesting children in other parts of the state or country, by other factions of the Catholic church.

“These are priests who, for the most part, were ordained somewhere else, worked a lot of their career somewhere else, molested somewhere else, but also spent time in Southern Illinois,” Clohessy said.

Six of those clergymen worked in the Belleville area: Thomas Meyer, Emil Twardochleb, Michael Charland, Orville Munie, Paul Kabat and James Vincent Fitzgerald.

They were publicly named after a lawsuit required their religious order, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, to disclose every Oblate in the United States “agai...

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