Clergy sex abuse victims presser Friday 6/30 @ 2:15 in Peoria
(For Immediate Release June 29, 2023)
New pedophile priests are exposed
Victims want Peoria bishop to post ten more names
SNAP: “Kids aren’t safe until church ‘comes clean’ on abuse
Whistleblowers & victims are urged to ‘keep coming forward’
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, a clergy sex abuse victim will blast Peoria’s Catholic bishop for refusing to add the names of ten publicly accused child molesting clerics to the ‘credibly accused’ abusers list posted on his website.
--Two of them have never been ‘outed’ here even though they were in the Peoria Diocese, and
--Eight of them Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul urged Peoria’s bishop to add last month.
The victim will also
--call on all Catholic church members and employees to, 'for the safety of kids and the healing of victims,' circulate the names of the offenders and urge their church officials to do ‘more aggressive outreach to anyone who may have seen suspected or suffered their crimes,’ and
--urge anyone with information about or suspicions of clergy sex crimes to “keep coming forward to police and prosecutors, not to church figures.”
Friday, June 30 at 2:15 p. m.
Outside the Peoria Diocese headquarters (a.k.a chancery or Spalding Center, 492 NE. Madison Ave. in Peoria
A former Peoria diocesan church official (vice-chancellor), an Illinois man who is suing over his abuse as a child by a Peoria priest and a Missouri man (also abused as a child by a priest) who is the former national director of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
---1) At least 51 Catholic clerics who are or were in the Peoria Diocese are deemed ‘credibly accused’ child molesters, according to a five-year investigation and lengthy report issued last month by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, which was highly critical of church officials in Peoria and elsewhere.
https://www.pjstar.com/story/news/2023/06/01/list-of-catholic-diocese-of-peoria-clergy-members-named-in-illinois-attorney-general-report/70249532007/The document is harshly critical of Catholic officials across the state.
But Peoria Bishop Louis Tylka refuses to put eight of these clerics on his public ‘credibly accused’ list, even though Attorney General Kwame Raoul says he should: John M. Beatty, John Joseph Casey, Paul F. Dinan, John V. Farris, James Vincent Fitzgerald, Louis J. Meinhardt, William J. Spine and Emil Twardochleb. (Most are on 'credibly accused' lists in other states or dioceses.)
SNAP believes that one of them, Fr. Spine, is still alive and may pose a threat to children. His whereabouts are unknown.)
All eight of these offenders are largely still ‘under the radar,’ SNAP contends, and their victims are likely still suffering. Disclosure by Peoria’s bishop would help ease their pain, victims say.
2) SNAP has found two other publicly accused clerics whose names have never surfaced in the Peoria Diocese even though they both worked there. The group wants their names added to the diocese’s ‘credibly accused’ list too.
One is Fr. George J. Cody, who was a hospital chaplain in Peoria. In 2011, a woman publicly alleged that Cody abused her and other girls in the 1950s when she was a 12-year-old polio patient at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. (He also worked at Corpus Christi High School in Galesburg.)
The other is Br. Christopher J. McCartney, who worked at St. Joseph Parish in Pekin. He was sued for sexually abusing a child in Chicago when he worked for the church there.
SNAP believes there are other abusive priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers, bishops, or lay church employees in the Peoria area who remain ‘under the radar’ and NOT on the diocesan ‘accused’ list.
--3) SNAP is begging anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered crimes or cover-ups to contact independent sources of help like therapists, police, prosecutors, or support groups – not church officials.
NOTE – SNAP is holding similar events tomorrow, 6/30, in Decatur IL and Bloomington IL.
Over the past several weeks, SNAP held similar events in other Illinois cities (including Bloomington and Decatur on 6/30 as well) alerting the public to – and calling on church officials to add more predator priests to their diocesan ‘credibly accused’ lists. In the past, bishops in Springfield and Belleville later quietly added some of the names that SNAP had brought forward.
According to the AG’s recent 696 page report, the two most prolific predator priests in the Peoria Diocese were apparently Fr. Norman Goodman and Fr. William Harbert who reportedly faced 19 and 12 accusers respectively.
The abusers in Raoul’s report who spent time in the city of Peoria itself (not elsewhere in the diocese) include John C. Anderson, Robert O. Barnett, Edward Bush, Terry Cassidy, Louis Condon, William Harbert, William Isermann, J. Eugene Kane, Philip Kraus, M. Duane Leclercq, Edward Lohan. Louis J. Meinhardt, Thomas R. Miller, Gordon Pillon, Ronald W. Roth, Richard Slavish and Michael Van Acker.
Parishes in the city of Peoria where these priests were include: St. Ann, St. Bernard, St. Boniface, St. Joseph, St. John, St. Mark, St. Martin de Porres, St. Mary Cathedral, St. Patrick, St. Philomena, St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Vincent de Paul.
Other places in the city of Peoria where these priests were include Guardian Angel Home, Catholic Social Services, Bergan High School, Spalding Institute, Bradley University’s Newman Center, and the Hispanic Ministry.
The Diocese of Peoria includes these counties: Bureau, Champaign, DeWitt, Fulton Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Knox, LaSalle, Livingston, Logan, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Piatt, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, Vermilion, Warren and Woodford.