Victims Group: Springfield Diocese Tight-Lipped On Several Priests

NPR Illinois

December 22, 2018

By Sam Dunklau

In the wake of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Catholic Church investigation, a victim’s advocacy group is accusing the Catholic Diocese of Springfield of intentionally leaving the names of two predator priests off its public list. They say those names are part of the group of 500 Madigan uncovered.

Members of SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, stood across the street from Springfield’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. They held up signs that had names like Father Henry Willenborg and Father Thomas Meyer on them. Both were priests in the Springfield diocese, both have well-documented abuse allegations against them.

John Freml was one of the demonstrators. He says he’s disappointed with how Bishop Thomas Paprocki has handled the scandal.

“I think the Bishop has just lost all moral credibility in this Diocese, given how he has postured himself in relation to this issue.”

SNAP representative David Clohessy demonstrated alongside Freml on Friday. He says the Church can’t be trusted to handle the matter.

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