IL--Another troubled priest quiet ousted; Victims respond
For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 22, 2016
Once again, a priest who was ousted elsewhere for having “inappropriate images of students” was quietly sent to our area to work with no warning to parishioners. And once again, a priest who engaged in “inappropriate conduct” here has been quietly sent away, with no notice to parishioners, and is probably working now among unsuspecting colleagues and congregants in Philadelphia, Phoenix or Portland.
And Catholic officials try to convince us they’re changing and being more “transparent.” Hardly.
Two dioceses – San Francisco and Belleville – have kicked the cleric out. Neither told the public or parishioners that they had done so or the reasons behind their decisions.
The troubled cleric is Fr. Peter Balili, a native of the Phillipines. He worked at St. Mary Parish in Sesser and St. Andrew Parish in Christopher. (He also worked in parishes in two California dioceses - San Bernardino and San Francisco - and studied in Orange, California for six years in the 1990s. He studied at Notre Dame University, is a native of the Phillipines and was once with a religious order called Opus Dei Fathers.
He was also affiliated with a group called “Shrines of Europe Pilgrimage.”
No Catholic official in any of the five places where Fr. Balili spent time has bothered to alert Catholics or citizens about him and or detail the accusations against him. “The Belleville Diocese dismissed him because of instances of what it viewed as ‘inappropriate conduct regarding certain of his parishioners.’ The notice did not specify the nature of that conduct or the age of the parishioners,” according to the Post-Dispatch.
We’ve seen this kind of language time and time again used by Catholic officials. It usually refers to sexual misdeeds or crimes. But bishops owe their flocks more honesty than this.
Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton is among the most secretive bishops in the US.
We beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or misdeeds by Fr. Balili, to show courage, call police, protect others and start healing.
(Fr. Balili also worked in parishes in two California dioceses - San Bernardino and San Francisco - and studied in Orange, California for six years in the 1990s. He studied at Notre Dame University, is a native of the Phillipines and was once with a religious order called Opus Dei Fathers.)
He was also affiliated with a group called “Shrines of Europe Pilgrimage.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Removal of international Catholic priest from Belleville Diocese kept quiet locally
By Jesse Bogan, 2/22/16
CHRISTOPHER, Ill. • Southern Illinois farming communities produce a lot of corn and soybeans, but not many priests these days.
The Belleville Diocese, the organization that oversees Roman Catholic churches in the region, depends on the church’s international ties to recruit missionary priests from across the globe. In Latin, they are called fidei donum, or gift of faith.
The Rev. Peter Balili, of the Philippines, was one such gift, with a tough assignment. He was called to replace the Rev. Steven F. Poole, who was arrested in 2010 for theft.
By many accounts, Balili was . . .
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.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
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.