Priests Removed by the Diocese

Belleville News-Democrat
April 24, 2007

Priests removed by the diocese

The Belleville Diocese has removed 15 priests and one deacon since March 1993 for allegations of sexual abuse of a child or sexual misconduct. Robert J. Vonnahmen is the only one to be defrocked. One priest was cleared and another's status could not be determined Monday. These are the men who remain on administrative leave along with the dates they were removed and their assignments when removed:

March 5, 1993 — The Rev. Jerome Ratermann, 75, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Belleville.

March 18, 1993 — The Rev. James Calhoun, deceased, former pastor at St. Boniface Church in Germantown.

March 18, 1993 — Robert J. Vonnahmen, 76, former director of Camp Ondessonk.

March 30, 1993 — The Rev. David Crook, 54, pastor of St. George Church in New Baden.

April 25, 1993 — The Rev. Robert Chlopecki, 59, pastor of St. Ann Church in Nashville.

May 5, 1993 — Deacon Francis Theis, manager of the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows gift shop, was placed on administrative leave over allegations of sexually abusing a minor. Theis is no longer listed in the diocesan directory.

May 9, 1993 — The Rev. Eugene Linnemann, 52, pastor of St. Patrick Church in Ruma.

Sept. 13, 1993 — The Rev. Edwin Kastner, 85, pastor of St. Rose Church in St. Rose.

Jan. 24, 1994 — The Rev. Louis Peterson, 59, pastor of St. Teresa Church in Belleville.

Feb. 4, 1994 — The Rev. Walter MacPherson, 83, pastor of St. Martin of Tours Church in Washington Park.

Dec. 6, 1994 — Monsignor Joseph Schwaegel, 70, admitted he was placed on leave from St. Peter's Cathedral in Belleville to be treated for a sexual addiction.

Jan. 13, 1995 — The Rev. Raymond Kownacki, 72, a former pastor at St. Martin of Tours Church in Washington Park.

Oct. 19, 1998 — The Rev. Alan Ruppert, 55, pastor of St. Clement Church in McLeansboro and St. John Nepomucene in Dahlgren, and former pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Centreville.

Oct. 21, 2002 — The Rev. William F. Rensing, 77, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Sparta.


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