395 Catholic Church Illinois Priests and Deacons Accused of Sexual Misconduct

“By choosing not to thoroughly investigate allegations, the Catholic Church has failed in its moral obligation to provide survivors, parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois,”

CHICAGO – Nearly 400 Catholic clergy members in Illinois have been accused of sexual misconduct, but church officials have only informed congregants of a fraction of those who have faced allegations, according to attorneys who represented clergy sex abuse victims across the USA.

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A 182-page report, published by the Minnesota-based law firm Jeff Anderson and Associates, includes the names, background information, photos and assignment histories of each accused clergy member. 

“The danger of sexual abuse in Illinois is clearly a problem of today, not just the past,” the report concludes. “This will continue to be a danger until the identities and histories of sexually abusive clerics, religious employees and seminarians are made public.”

Anderson said he hopes the report will push church leaders to publicly identify hundreds more clergy who faced allegations.

The men named in the report worked in the Archdiocese of Chicago and the dioceses of Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield. Dioceses’ officials pushed back on the report’s findings.

The Archdiocese of Chicago, which serves about 2.1 million Catholics, said it “does not “police itself.”

“It reports all allegations to the civil authorities, regardless of the date of the alleged abuse, whether the priest is a diocesan priest or religious order priest, and whether the priest is alive or dead,” the archdiocese said in a statement.

Andrew Hansen, a spokesman for the Springfield Diocese, dismissed the report as “an impressive professional marketing brochure.”

Church-Pews

He noted one of the priests listed in the report, Rev. Frank Martinez, had spent about six weeks in 1985 working as a hospital chaplain in the central Illinois diocese before resigning his position.

The following year Martinez, who was assigned to a parish in Buffalo, Iowa, was accused of propositioning a 15-year-old boy in an Iowa motel room. Martinez was removed from the ministry in 2004. In 2008, he was included on a list by the Davenport Diocese of 24 priests credibly accused of sexual abuse.

“(The report) does not represent, as Mr. Anderson suggests, a thorough and diligent review of the publicly available facts, and it is highly misleading and irresponsible,” Hansen said.

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 The Diocese of Joliet in Chicago, Illinois

The Rockford Diocese said in a statement it has not disclosed allegations against many of the clergy on Anderson’s list “because the accusations either have not been substantiated or are completely without merit.”Joliet Diocese officials also said that allegations against some named on Anderson’s list have not been substantiated.

“The list includes a number of priests, living and deceased who, at one time or another provided some ministry within the Diocese of Joliet at some point during their priesthood, but are not priests of the Diocese of Joliet,” the Joliet Diocese said in a statement.

Rockford Diocese officials said they were unaware that one former priest named on the list, Rev. Ivan Rovira, had been found to have committed sexual abuse of a child after he left Northern Illinois in the early 1970s. The Brownsville, Texas Diocese earlier this year placed Rovira on its list of “clergy with credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.”

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Rovira admitted to Brownsville Diocese officials in 2002 that he had sexually abused a boy during his time working in Texas. He was forced to leave the ministry, and later fled to Mexico, according to the Anderson report.

“Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this list, and the list covers the time frame of 1908, when this diocese was established, to the present,” the Rockford Diocese said in its statement. “An allegation against a priest who had an assignment in this diocese but belongs to a religious order or other diocese is referred to the religious order or other diocese to which the priest belongs and is under its jurisdiction.”

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Attorneys culled the names of the clergy named in the report from legal settlements and news reports detailing claims of child sexual abuse. Although lawsuits were filed involving many of the alleged perpetrators, the majority of the claims against the individuals were settled, according to the report.

“We’ve chosen to reveal this information, because the Catholic bishops and religious orders who are in charge and have this information . . . have chosen to conceal it,” Anderson said. 

The six Catholic dioceses of Illinois released the names of 185 clergy members who church officials determined were credibly accused of sexual abuse. The Anderson list includes those who were identified by the Illinois dioceses and more than 200 additional priests and deacons.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who left office in January, issued a preliminary report in December that found there are at least 500 clergy from Illinois’ dioceses who have faced allegations of abuse. The church has not publicly acknowledged or thoroughly investigated those claims, Madigan’s report found. She did not name those accused of misconduct.

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Madigan launched her investigation in August after a landmark Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed claims against more than 300 “predator priests” who had abused at least 1,000 victims over roughly six decades. The former Illinois attorney general said her office was flooded with hundreds of emails and calls from people alleging they were victims of abuse by clergy in Illinois in the aftermath of the Pennsylvania report.

Clergy abuse investigation: Illinois Catholic Church allegedly failed to investigate 500 priest sex abuse allegations

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Madigan is one of at least 14 state attorney generals who have confirmed investigations or reviews after the Pennsylvania report. Madigan’s successor, Kwame Raoul, said before he took office in January that he was committed to continuing the investigation.

“By choosing not to thoroughly investigate allegations, the Catholic Church has failed in its moral obligation to provide survivors, parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois,” Madigan said.

Weeks after Madigan released her report, Anderson, along with other attorneys and clergy sex abuse survivors, launched the “Fight for 500” initiative calling on the Illinois dioceses to release the names of clergy.

The list published Wednesday includes priests and deacons whose affiliations in some cases date back decades. Many of the accused have died.

The report notes the Archdiocese of Los Angeles settled a civil lawsuit in 2007 alleging the Rev. Robert Boley accosted a young girl in the 1980s. Boley moved to a Chicago parish in 1989 and also served at parishes in Darien, Ill., Englewood, N.J., and Louisville, Ky.

“As of 2007, it was believed that Fr. Boley was residing at the Carmelite House in Joliet, Illinois, and working in their archives,” the report says. “Fr. Boley’s current whereabouts, status as a priest, and whether he has access to children are unknown.”

In another case, the report says David Stalzer, an ordained priest in the Joliet diocese, faced a civil lawsuit in 1993, in which he was accused of child sexual abuse while he was working at a diocese parish.

“It is believed that Fr. Stalzer returned to active duty later that year under supervision and purportedly with limited contact with children,” according to the report.

The suit was dismissed in 1994 after the accuser dropped out of sight, according to the Joliet Herald-News. Stalzer died in 2001.

The list includes one priest who is in active ministry, Anderson said.

Bad men

The priest, who is assigned to a parish on Chicago’s North Side, was temporarily removed from his position in December 2013 after the archdiocese received reports of him molesting a child at another Chicago-area parish where he worked 20 years earlier.

The Chicago Archdiocese reinstated the priest into active ministry months later, after law enforcement found insufficient evidence to prosecute him.

Days after he was reinstated, another man came forward and said he saw the same priest molest a teenage boy at a suburban fitness center. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation, but the claim was never substantiated no charges were filed.

Anderson defended putting the priest on the list even though authorities had not corroborated the allegations.

“(He) may be innocent, but given the fact that are two public allegations that have been made against him, we feel and believe that it needs to be publicly disclosed as somebody who has been publicly accused and not adjudicated,” Anderson said.

Mom Sues School for ‘Victimizing’ Her Son with LGBTQ Views

“We have to make sure parents are back in control of what happens to their children in the school system,” Montague told The Sunday Times. “I don’t think we wave them goodbye at the school gates and say ‘do what you like with them’.”

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A British mom is suing her son’s school for indoctrinating students with pro-LGBTQ ideology without parental permission.
 
Izoduwa “Izzy” Montague, 35, accuses Heavers Farm Primary School in London of “the systematic proselytization of its young and vulnerable pupils” after children were forced to participate in the school’s LGBTQ “Proud to Me” event last summer. 

Montague is seeking a “five-figure sum” from the school. She has also filed a formal complaint to Damian Hinds, the Education Secretary for England and Wales. 

According to The Sunday Times, Montague and other parents were treated “dismissively” for opposing the pride celebration.

“We have to make sure parents are back in control of what happens to their children in the school system,” Montague told The Sunday Times. “I don’t think we wave them goodbye at the school gates and say ‘do what you like with them’.”

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LGBTQ views being taught in schools

Montague’s legal representation, the UK’s Christian Legal Centre (CLC), informed LifeSiteNews that when she met with Susan Papas, the head teacher, she was confronted by Papas’ own daughter, who also teaches at the school, who was wearing an aggressively pro-LGBTQ t-shirt.

The t-shirt asked, “‘Why be racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic, when you can just be quiet?'”  

Days later, Montague received a letter from the school dismissing her complaint. The letter argued corporate pride events are acceptable so they are acceptable in school as well. 

On the same day, Montague’s five-year-old son was “for the first time in his life” given a detention for three hours, and he was punished again with another hour the following day. 

When Montague came to the school to discuss her son’s treatment, she was barred from the building.

“They (staff) deemed her to be uncooperative and hostile,” CLC’s Robert Kiska told LifeSiteNews.

“After I complained about my young child being forced to take place in an event that goes against our Christian beliefs, the school’s attitude towards me changed completely,” stated Montague. “I know other parents who are afraid to speak up because of how the school has treated me.”

“It was like being bullied,” she continued. “They stopped treating me like any other parent but were antagonistic towards me. I believe that they retaliated against me unreasonably by excluding me from the premises, victimizing my child and not taking my safeguarding concerns seriously.”

“I wasn’t even trying to stop the Pride event. I just wanted my child to receive an education, rather than indoctrination,” she added. 

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 Children are read to by a cross dresser in an American library 

CLC states Heavers Farm Primary School is “forcing a very aggressive LGBT agenda onto children under 12 years of age in a manner which abuses parental rights and victimizes parents.”

The organization states many parents are scared to speak out because of the fear their children will be “further victimized and/or expelled.”

Since the incident, Montague and her husband, Shane, have removed their child from the school. 

US Takes Step to Block Foreign Aid to Overseas Abortion Providers

“We will refuse to provide assistance to foreign NGO’S that give financial support to other foreign groups in the global abortion industry”…

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Tuesday the expansion of the Trump administration’s ban on US aid to groups that promote or provide abortions.

Pompeo said he’s extended the ban to include organizations that may follow the rules while simultaneously passing funding along to other groups that don’t. 

The secretary said the Trump administration will not allow American taxpayer money to pay for “backdoor funding schemes” for abortion.

Mike-Pompeo

“The American people should rest assured that this administration and this State Department and our USAID will do all we can to safeguard US taxpayer dollars and protect and respect the sanctity of life for people all around the globe,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo said the administration was committed to protecting “the sanctity of life” in the United States and abroad and would enforce the policy “to the broadest extent possible” by not allowing foreign non-governmental organizations to skirt the ban.

“We will refuse to provide assistance to foreign NGOs that give financial support to other foreign groups in the global abortion industry,” Pompeo told reporters at the State Department. “We will enforce a strict prohibition on backdoor funding schemes and end runs around our policy. American taxpayer dollars will not be used to underwrite abortions.”

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Critics say this hurts reproductive and maternal health care in developing nations. 

Pompeo denied that claim and said the US would continue to be a leader in such aid. The US spends $9 billion to support global health programs. It wasn’t immediately clear how much would be cut, but pro-choice advocates were furious at the news.

“This administration’s obsession with attacking women’s reproductive health is egregious and dangerous,” Sen. Jean Shaheen (D-NH) said. “Further expanding the global gag rule puts international organizations in an impossible position: provide women the full scope of reproductive health care services or deny critical funding that saves lives. That is unconscionable.”

Pro-life groups welcomed the move. 

The Susan B. Anthony Fund praised Pompeo’s decision in a statement, saying: “We are excited to see Secretary Pompeo taking additional steps to ensure that Americans’ hard-earned dollars are actually used for health assistance, not funneled to groups that push abortion.”

 

Trinity Christian Academy Teacher/Coach Fired For Inappropriate Relationship with Student

Students, parents and staff at the Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida, are in shock after school officials announced Thursday that a popular Bible teacher and soccer coach was fired for having an “inappropriate relationship” with a student…

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Students, parents and staff at the Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida, are in shock after school officials announced Thursday that a popular Bible teacher and soccer coach was fired for having an “inappropriate relationship” with a student.

“On Tuesday, in keeping with legal and our own internal reporting guidelines, TCA reported an inappropriate relationship between a high school teacher and high school student to our local law enforcement,” the school confirmed in a statement to The Christian Post on Friday morning.

“In addition to the reporting, we have terminated the employment of the teacher. We are deeply saddened by this situation, because it is so far removed from the standards and values to which we hold our faculty and embrace as a school. We are committed to offering care and support for the student and all families impacted,” it ended.

While the school did not reveal any further details on the teacher, James Baltz, a former student who now works at the school told News4Jax that the fired teacher was a Bible teacher and soccer coach who was popular among students.

“When I heard about it, I was in complete, like, all in shock,” Baltz said. “It’s just completely awful that it happened in this environment, especially a Christian environment.”

Students like Baemnet Abetew, a 12th-grader, revealed that news of the teacher’s firing had rippled through the entire school community.

“It did shock me. I didn’t think anything like this would happen here,” Abetew said. “It is scary because it’s something that could have happened to me.” 

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Zarek Jones, a soccer player who was coached by the fired teacher, told First Coast News that: “We thought he was cool. We’d go to his classroom and eat lunch there.”

He said he knows the female student who was involved with his coach but his teammates thought they were “just friends.”

“We thought they were just friends,” Jones said.

“I know he shouldn’t have done this,” he added. “I don’t know whether to be mad or sad, but he taught us not to do stuff like this.”

Auna Nix, a parent whose son attends the school, called the situation heartbreaking.

“It just scares me as a parent,” she said. “But I trust the school that they’re going to make the right decision.” 

When contacted for comment on the case Friday, the Jacksonville Police Department could not immediately provide any details on whether a report was made.

Trinity Christian Academy was founded in 1967 under the sponsorship of Trinity Baptist Church of Jacksonville “as an educational program that would provide not only the academic, social, physical, and values training, but also the spiritual training necessary for a well-rounded education,” according to their website.

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