Downstate Bishop Warns 3 Priests

Associated Press, carried in Chicago Tribune
May 20, 1994

Three Roman Catholic priests accused of sexual misconduct may be resisting orders to stop publicly performing religious duties, Bishop Wilton Gregory of the Belleville Diocese said Thursday.

One of the priests, Rev. James Calhoun, recently was photographed offering mass. Calhoun, who was ordered permanently removed from his Germantown parish last July, is among nine priests accused of sexual misconduct who cannot offer mass in public or wear clerical collars.

Gregory would not identify the other two priests he is worried about. But Gregory said he also planned to talk with Rev. Robert Vonnahmen about his activities.

Vonnahmen, who also was ordered permanently removed from his Elizabethtown parish, heads the San Damiano retreat center near Rosiclare where Calhoun said mass Sunday.

"Most of the priests that are on administrative leave are following the restrictions dutifully," Gregory said. "I have only a few who have given me reason to question their acceptance of the sanctions."

The nine priests-all from separate parishes-are accused of sexual misconduct involving either minors or young adults.

A diocesan review board has recommended that four not be returned to their parishes. "I have to find places for them to reside where they can be properly monitored, and get whatever assistance they need," Gregory said.

The cases of the other five priests are pending, and no deadline has been set.

Gregory said he was unaware Calhoun was saying Mass until he saw the photographs, which were given to the Belleville News-Democrat. He said he expects to meet with Calhoun within two weeks.

Calhoun, a retired priest in residence at San Damiano, is permitted to say a private Mass with some staff. But Gregory said the mass in the photographs "appears to be a larger group of people."

Gregory said he had a recent conversation with Calhoun: "He gave me an indication he would follow these restrictions in a more exacting manner. He was not defiant."

A meeting with Vonnahmen was not yet scheduled Thursday.

If a priest continues to disobey sanctions, Gregory can prohibit him from even saying private mass.

Telephone messages left for Calhoun and Vonnahmen at San Damiano were not returned Thursday.

Rev. Clyde Grogan, chairman of the Southern Illinois Association of Priests, said he could understand how some priests would find it hard to stop performing their duties. But they also are sworn to obedience.

"I would think there has to be an awesome amount of shock for the priests who are accused," he said.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems