Rockford Diocese responds to SNAP allegations

WIFR-TV, Ch. 23 [Rockville IL]

April 27, 2021

Two Midwest leaders of a national child abuse from clergy support group came to Rockford to protest in front of a Stateline church, telling the local diocese to come clean.

David Clohssey is the SNAP leader in St. Louis and Larry Antonsen is Chicago’s SNAP leader. They demonstrated in front of the Cathedral of Saint Peter while holding a list of priests who they say worked in the diocese and have been credibly accused of child abuse while the public has yet to be informed of those accusations.

“We found five credibly accused priests. Five credibly accused child molesters who are not on the Rockford’s bishop’s list which we think is frankly just appalling. Church officials have been dealing with this crisis for decades. They’ve had plenty of time to get it right. We don’t believe that these admissions are accidental,” Clohessy said.

The Rockford Diocese responded to these allegations, saying:

“First and foremost abuse of minors by clergy or any adult is a crime, a sin and is not to be tolerated.

The practice of the Diocese has been, and continues to be, that it informs the faithful publicly when a priest has been removed from ministry due to a credible allegation of sexual abuse or other inappropriate conduct.
David Clohessey is the SNAP leader in St. Louis and Larry Antonsen is Chicago’s SNAP leader.

A list of those priests or priests from religious orders is maintained on the Diocese of Rockford website. The public is consistently notified of these updates to the list through the diocesan Catholic press and through public notice to parishes where the priest may have served. And the list is dated accordingly when updated.

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.

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. When the Diocese of Rockford is notified by a religious order about substantiated allegations against a priest of their order and if that priest worked in the Rockford Diocese, he too is included on the Rockford Diocesan list and proper notification is made.

As Bishop David Malloy has stated many times, “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.”

For this reason we ask anyone who may have been a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy to please call the police in the county in which the abuse occurred and then contact the Diocese of Rockford at its victim abuse hotline at 815-293-7540 or to email

(This information about reporting abuse appears on the Diocese of Rockford website, in all parish bulletins and in the weekly Catholic newspaper The Observer.),” the diocese said.

Copyright 2021 WIFR. All rights reserved.