The Diocese of Orange Assignment Records of O.C.'s Latest Accused Pedo-Priest, Gordon Pillon

By Gustavo Arellano in Ex Cathedra
Orange County Weekly
April 24, 2009

[See also other articles by Gustavo Arellano.]

Your Catholic Diocese of Orange made national headlines again earlier this week when former Catholic priest Ben Rodriguez filed a civil lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court alleging that Father Gordon Pillon molested him numerous times while Pillon served at La Habra's Our Lady of Guadalupe during the early 1980s. Pillon had already been removed from ministry by his most recent employer, the Diocese of Peoria, for this accusation and another one and currently teaches in Prague.


What none of the news stories mentioned, however, was Pillon's assignment record in the Orange diocese. Careful readings of a priest's service can usually divine whether allegations against a padre are legit or bull--and let's just say Pillon's service in Orange don't indicate a bunch of Bevo.

The Official Catholic Directory, the best tracker of priests in the United States, lists Pillon as first arriving in Orange in 1980* at Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Habra, replacing pedo-priest Sofronio Aranda. Pillon stayed until 1983, when King of the County Pedophiles Eleuterio Ramos replaced him; Pillon moved on to St. Juliana Falconieri, where he stayed until 1986. All those years, he served alongside pedo-priest Michael Pecharich.

In 1987, Pillon was at St. Angela Merici in Brea and stayed there two years; 1989 saw him at St. Columban in Garden Grove. From 1990 until 1993, the Diocese of Orange lists him as "on duty outside the diocese," usually a euphemism for them shipping a pedo-priest out of town. In Pillon's case, he worked in campus ministry at Bradley University in Peoria those years until finally getting incardinated in the Diocese of Peoria in 1993.

*Actually, the Official Catholic Directory is always a year ahead. So, for instance, if I write here that Pillon was in a church in 1983, that came out in the 1984 Official Catholic Directory. Sure, it's a byzantine tracking method, but what do you expect from a faith that believes in transubstantiation?



Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.