Diocese of Rockford Quietly Adds Names to its List of Accused Clergy
Rockford Catholic officials have quietly - without notifying the public - added 6 more names to their list of those with “substantiated allegations” of child sexual abuse. Given that the entire point of these lists is to ensure that diocesan leaders are accountable to their parishioners and the public, we are disturbed that this update was made without any sort of notice.
The original list of abusive clergy put out by Catholic officials in Rockford on November 14, 2018, contained the names of 15 clergy and brothers who diocesan leaders determined had “substantiated allegations" of abuse. However, it was woefully lacking in information about these men. The list only included their name, ordination date, and current status.
The Rockford list was updated just last week, and now includes the names of 6 more men, as well as information about where all the men listed worked within the diocese. The new names are religious order and extern priests who lived and worked within the Rockford Diocese and who were determined to have been “credibly accused” of abuse elsewhere. All of these changes were made without saying a word to anyone, either Catholic or non-Catholic.
Abusive clergy, nuns, brothers, and lay employees do not just work and socialize with Catholics, and they do not just molest Catholic children. That is why it is critical for Catholic officials to announce publicly those who are accused of abuse, not just quietly add names and information on an obscure page on a diocesan website. To us, this update from Catholic officials in Rockford shows they care more about checking a box than they do about being truly transparent to parishioners, parents, and the public.
The 6 names that have been added to the list in Rockford are:
- Fr. Joseph Jablonski, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
- Fr. David F. Heimann, Diocese of Columbus
- Fr. Ivan Rovira, Diocese of Brownsville
- Fr. Daniel Cipar, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
- Fr. Aloysius Piorkowski, Polish priest on Diocese of Lincoln list
- Fr. Leo Petit, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
Bishop David J. Malloy can still show he is truly dedicated to transparency and accountability. He can do this by adding photos for each name on his accused list. He can also include the dates for each parish assignment, as well as information on when the diocese learned about each allegation and what action was taken in response.
The Bishop can also make sure that parishioners and the public are aware of each and every update to his list. In particular, Bishop Malloy should visit each and every parish where a man on the list worked and beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to make a report to the police or to the Illinois Attorney General. Any prelate who truly wants to help survivors heal and to protect today’s children would do nothing less.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.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)