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Rockford Diocese Names Priests Accused Of Sexual Abuse of Children

Susan Stephens

The Catholic Diocese of Rockford has released a list of 15 clerics accused of sexually abusing minors. The list includes priests, a deacon, and a brother. The accusations range from 1925 to 1991. Some of the names were released previously, but some are being disclosed for the first time. All have been removed from the ministry and ten have died. Bishop David Malloy says the list is being released to “reassure the faithful and public at large.” It's available on the Rockford Diocese website.

In 2004, then-Bishop Thomas Doran released a four-page report about sexual abuse of children in the Rockford Diocese. It didn’t name names, which the latest report does

In an open letter to Catholics within the Diocese, Bishop Malloy said the list of clergy members accused and substantiated will be updated as needed and is a permanent part of the Diocese’s website.

Publishing this list does not ameliorate the criminal acts of abusers. Our continued prayer is that victims of these priests find some bit of peace in seeing this list, and that all victims of sexual abuse find the courage to come forward and know that assistance is available to them. It is important that the Catholic faithful of the Diocese of Rockford are free to worship in environments that are safe, and that all clergy, staff and volunteers are criminally background checked, trained and held accountable for that safety. It is our policy that no clergy, staff or volunteer with a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor made against him or her shall be allowed to minister in this Diocese.

Malloy added that sexual abuse of a minor must be reported to police first, then people are encouraged to contact the Diocese’s victim abuse hotline at 815-293-7540 or reportsexualabuse@rockforddiocese.org.

The priests and other religious officials named in the Bishop’s letter are:

  • Mark Campobello
  • Harlan B. Clapsaddle
  • Thomas Considine
  • John Holdren
  • William Joffe
  • Joseph J.M. Tully
  • Michael Frazier
  • James Campbell
  • Walter Johnson
  • Theodore Feely
  • Augustine Jones
  • Peter Kohler
  • Richard Kuhl
  • Joseph Lessard
  • William Virtue

There’s more information about each accused priest at theRockford Diocese website.

Susan is an award-winning reporter/writer at her favorite radio station. She's also WNIJ's Perspectives editor, Under Rocks contributor, and local host of All Things Considered.
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