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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Mom exploited by "predator priest" speaks out

Cleric impregnated her & essentially now ignores his ill son

That boy, now 22, is battling brain cancer for the fourth time

She asks church for financial help & asks victims to come forward

The cleric has exploited others and is accused of molesting teenager

He was just suspended from Wisconsin parish with a parochial school

“He'll be reinstated unless witnesses & victims step up quickly,” mom fears

The case is new St. Louis archbishop's "first real test," self help group says

WHAT
At a sidewalk news conference, a emotionally wounded mother will discuss and disclose how
-- a former St. Louis area priest impregnated her and shuns their son,
-- St. Louis Catholic officials with the Franciscan order have acted callously, &
-- their son's health is deteriorating as he battles brain cancer for the fourth time

She will also
--- beg church officials - here and in 3 other states - to warn others about the predator, and
---urge others who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes or misdeeds to come forward.

WHEN
TODAY, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2:00 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Archdiocesan headquarters in the 4400 block of Lindell near Taylor in St. Louis' CWE

WHO
An O'Fallon woman whose experiences were detailed on page one of last Friday's New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/16/us/16priest.html?_r=1)

and 1-2 clergy sex abuse victims who are also members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

VISUALS
She will hold a photo of her son and the priest.

WHY
Friday's New York Times reports that a former St. Louis priest was sexually involved with and/or exploited a Catholic parishioner, impregnated her twice, advocated an abortion, essentially ignored the child he fathered, and is accused of sexually abusing another unnamed girl when she was a teenager in high school. The mom (Pat Bond) and boy (Nathan Halbach, now 22), now live in O'Fallon, MO. Both the mom and boy have cancer. He has had four reoccurrences and is now gravely ill.

Hours after the story ran, Fr. Henry V. Willenborg was suspended as the head priest of his large parish in Ashland, Wisconsin (Our Lady of the Lake, 715-682-7620, http://www.ourladycc.org/About/staff.htm, www.ourladycc.org) a church with a parochial elementary school next door (715-682-7622).

For years, Willenborg worked at the south St. Louis Franciscan regional headquarters at 3140 Meramec St. (314-353-3421, http://www.thefriars.org/provoff.html). In that capacity, SNAP believes he said masses and performed other duties at the Franciscan parish next door, St. Anthony of Padua, 3140 Meramec St.(314-353-7470, http://www.stanthonyofpaduastl.com/contact_us.php).

Bond and SNAP worry that Willenborg may have exploited/abused innocent girls and/or vulnerable adults here too. Both are urging anyone with knowledge of Willenborg's misdeeds to come forward, get help, call police, protect others and start recovering.

Neither Willenborg nor his supervisors deny paternity. Still, Bond has had to repeatedly fight the Franciscans for child support and took them to court to force them to help pay for Nate's college. Church officials, according to the Times, have been "tightfisted" toward the family and have given the priest "no punishment."

The local heads of the Franciscans are Fr. William Spencer and Fr. John Doctor (314-353-3421, DocOFM69@aol.com, Provincial@TheFriars.org, ProvincialOffice@TheFriars.org). A St. Louis lawyer who represents the Franciscans is also intimately familiar with the case: Catherine A. Schroeder (314-552-6000).

Willenborg's phone number is 715-682-7620 and his e mail is henrywill4@aol.com. Until Friday, he worked in the Diocese of Superior (chancery office: 715-394-0205, 715-392-2937). He also worked in New Orleans and in two Illinois locations: Quincy and the Chicago area.

To learn more about Nate and his medical struggles and condition, go to: http://nathanhalbachcancerfund.com and/or nateyfight.blogspot.com

CONTACT
David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home, Barbara Dorris 314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org
 


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