Defrocked Southern Illinois priest who founded Camp Ondessonk has died
Molly Parker, July 24, 2016, The Southern Illinoisan
LIZABETHTOWN -- A one-time ambitious, popular Southern Illinois priest who spearheaded the creation of Camp Ondessonk in 1959, and nearly 50 years later was defrocked by the Vatican after allegations surfaced he sexually abused youth campers when he was director, has died.
Robert Vonnahmen, 85, was reportedly quietly buried in Elizabethtown in early May. It doesn’t appear that an obituary was written on Vonnahmen’s behalf, at least not one that is available online or otherwise readily accessible.
Vonnahmen’s death was announced this past week by the St. Louis chapter of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. In the 1990s, Vonnahmen was at the center of a Catholic Church sex abuse scandal that . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.