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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Support group urges Catholics to help find victims

Priest impregnated woman & now ignores his ill son

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

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,” group fears

WHAT
At a sidewalk news conference, a Missouri woman who helps lead a support group for clergy sex abuse victims will
--- discuss a former Quincy area priest who impregnated a Catholic woman, shuns their gravely ill son, and has recently been suspended, and
--- try to hand deliver a letter to university officials urging them to aggressively reach out to anyone with information about the priest's crimes or misdeeds

The priest is also accused of
-- molesting a teenager in high school,
-- sexually exploiting other parishioners, and
-- trying to talk one woman into an abortion.

The victims' advocate will also
--- beg church officials - in Illinois 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
Wednesday, Nov. 4, 1:30 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the North Campus of Quincy University, a Franciscan school, at the corner of N. 18th St. & Seminary Rd. in Quincy IL

WHO
A Missouri woman who is a leader in a Chicago-based support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY
On Oct. 17, the New York Times disclosed that a former Quincy 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 in the 1980s, Willenborg worked at Out Lady of Angels Seminary which is now known as North Campus of Quincy University. It is here where Willenborg and Bond first met and began their relationship.Bond and SNAP worry that Willenborg may have exploited/abused other innocent girls and/or vulnerable adults in the Quincy area. Both are urging anyone with knowledge of Willenborg's misdeeds to come forward, get help, call police, protect others and start recovering.

SNAP believes church officials and church members - the Springfield Diocese, the university, the Franciscans and in the Quincy area- have a moral duty to aggressively seek out and offer help to anyone else who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Willenborg. The group also feels that the church hierarchy should use its considerable resources to beg victims and witnesses to contact law enforcement if they know or suspect Willenborg committed any crimes or misdeeds.

The group, and the mother of Willenborg's child, are skeptical that the Franciscans will try hard to substantiate the allegations that the priest also abused a teenager in high school. If that accusation is deemed "credible," according to the church's national sex abuse policy, Willenborg will not be able to function again as a priest.

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 regional head of the Franciscans is Fr. William Spencer (314-353-3421, 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 three weeks ago, he worked in the Diocese of Superior (chancery office: 715-394-0205, 715-392-2937). He also worked in St. Louis, New Orleans 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
Judy Jones 314 974 5003 cell, 636-433-2511 home, 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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