IL--New pedophile priest is exposed

IL--New pedophile priest is exposed

New pedophile priest is exposed

Child sex abuse and cover up suit filed

Alleged predator now lives in Aurora

WHAT

Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will

--disclose a just-filed child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against Rockford Catholic officials and

--urge anyone who “saw, suspected or suffered” the accused cleric’s crimes to call police.

They will also prod local Catholic officials to

--use parish bulletins, church website and pulpit announcements to seek out “victims, witnesses and whistleblowers,” and

--turn over all files about the cleric to law enforcement so that he might be “prosecuted, convicted and kept away from kids.”   

WHEN

Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE

On the sidewalk outside the Rockford Catholic diocese headquarters (“chancery” office), 555 Colman Center Drive (corner of Corporate Dr.) Rockford, IL

WHO

An attorney and two-three adults who were abused as kids by clerics and who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Chicago woman who is the organization’s founder and president

WHY

A man who grew up in Aurora is filing a civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against a priest, Fr. John C. Holdren, who has never been publicly accused of abuse. The cleric is believed to live in Aurora but not work as a priest now.

Between 1972 and 1973, a boy, then 7 to 9 years old, “was sexually assaulted” by Fr. Holdren at St. Rita’s of Cascia parish in Aurora. The acts included ”inappropriately rubbing, groping, and fondling his genitals, masturbation, anal sex, and other unwanted sexual advances,” according to the suit. The priest “manipulated the emotions of the (boy),” grooming him and gaining “control and obedience over him, thus ensuring silence by the victim” and “creating an environment of confusion, guilt, shame, and other emotional disorders Church officials, the suit says, “knew or should have known of the dangers presented by Fr. Holdren but (failed) to adopt precautionary procedures” and “facilitated and enabled” the priest’s crimes.

The suit charges that Catholic officials in Rockford and elsewhere “were aware since at least the 1950's” of “a disturbing number” of clergy sex abuse cases but “allowed (abuse) to occur by making fraudulent representations, concealing criminal activity, obstructing justice and criminal investigations, evading civil and/or criminal liability, and by inculcating parishioners to keep their scandals secret through the guise of religious teachings and spiritual instruction and counseling.”

SNAP will prod Bishop David Malloy to “aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Holdren’s crimes and beg them to call law enforcement” using “church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements.” 

According to the Official Catholic Directory, Fr. Holdren was ordained in 1971 and worked at three Rockford diocesan churches: St. Rita's (1972-1981), St. Peter's in Geneva (1982-1983) and St. John the Baptist in Johnsburg (1984-1994). From 1995 to 1999, he was “on sick leave” and from 2000-2005, he was “absent on leave.” After 2006, Fr. Holdren was not indexed in the directory.

The current pastor of St. Rita's of Cascia is Fr. Oscar Cortes (630-892-5918). The current pastor of St. Peter's is Fr. Martins Emeh (630-232-0124). The current pastor of St. John the Baptist is Fr. Jacek Junak (815-385-1477).

The victim, identified only as John Doe JP, is now 49 and lives in Maryland. His attorney is Tim Frieberg of Rockford (217 801 2733, freiberglaw@gmail.com, http://www.freiberglaw.com/), who has handled numerous similar cases in the past.

The suit, filed Tuesday in Winnebago County Court, seeks damages of more than $50,000.

CONTACT

Barbara Blaine (312 399 4747 cell, 312 455 1499, bblaine@SNAPnetwork.org), David Clohessy (314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com), Kate Bochte (630-768-1860, keight@sbcglobal.net)    

Comments

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  • commented 2015-09-09 12:44:27 -0500
    Thanks for bringing attention to this new suit. The people of the area and all those who have been in parishes where John Holdren has been assigned need to know about his abuse of this man way back in the early ’70s and hopefully come forward for help themselves, knowing they did not cause the abuse, are not responsible for it despite what their perpetrator may have told them and the response of the bishops in charge. My heart breaks for all the victims.