Belleville Diocese Priest Removed from Ministry, SNAP Calls for Outreach
A priest from suburban St. Louis has been removed from ministry following an allegation of “inappropriate conduct” with a minor. We call on Catholic officials to use every resource at their disposal to share this news throughout the diocese and encourage other victims and witnesses to come forward and make a report.
According to Belleville diocesan leaders, Rev. Anthony Onyango was removed from ministry last week after the diocese was contacted regarding the unspecified “inappropriate conduct.” The allegation reportedly involved a minor from one of the two parishes – St. Bernard Parish in Albers or St. Damian parish in Damiansville – at which Rev. Onyango worked.
Catholic officials must now use parish bulletins, websites, and pulpit announcements to ensure parents and parishioners are informed of the allegations. Bishop Michael McGovern should personally visit the churches where Rev. Onyango worked, urging those with knowledge or suspicions to make a report to police and find healing.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is reportedly continuing the investigation into clergy abuse that was begun by his predecessor, Lisa Madigan. We hope that Belleville diocesan leaders also notified the attorney general’s office of the allegations against Rev. Onyango. We encourage anyone who may have been hurt Rev. Onyango or by any other clergy from the diocese to make a report by calling the Clergy Abuse Hotline at 1-888-414-7678 or by emailing email@example.com.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, firstname.lastname@example.org)
(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)