Three Names Added to List of Abusive Priests in the Diocese of Peoria

A diocese in Illinois added names to their list of publicly accused priests in the wake of new disclosures of credibly accused priests from other states and the hard work of journalists in Illinois.

Three priests total were added to the list previously published by the Diocese of Peoria. One of those priests is Fr. Kenneth J. Roberts. The cleric was added after his name was included on the list of abusive priests in Dallas, TX. Fr. Roberts has been accused of abuse in Dallas, St. Louis, Peoria and Belleville. To date, Belleville BishopEdward Braxton has yet to add Fr. Roberts to the Belleville list.

We know a brave and persistent survivor who reported his abuse by Fr. Roberts years ago, so it is difficult for us to believe that Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky only recently learned of Fr. Roberts’ presence in the Peoria Diocese. It is a shame that bishops continue to minimize allegations and hide information related to abusive priests unless they are faced with continued external pressure.

The other two priests in question – Fr. Ron Roth and Fr. Bernard Tomaszewski – were also added to the list of abusive priests from the Diocese of Peoria this week, but apparently only after having been ‘outed’ by the News Tribune.

We believe that Bishop Daniel Jenky should explain to his flock why these names were initially left off of his public disclosures and apologize for their omission. In order to show he is sincere, he should travel to the parishes where each of these three men were known to have worked and encourage anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered crimes to come forward and make a report to the office of Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, who is currently investigating clergy sex crimes and cover-ups.

We hope anyone may have been hurt by these three priests or any cleric will seek help from independent sources like therapists, police, loved ones or support groups like ours.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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