Another Name Added to Diocesan List of Accused Priests
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
November 5, 2020
ROCKFORD—The list of priests accused of sexual abuse with minors has been updated on the Diocese of Rockford website. 
 
The list is titled “Religious order priests or priests of another diocese who were assigned in this diocese, against whom an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor has been reported, and whose name appears on another diocese’s list or religious order’s list of accused.” It was updated with one additional name on Oct. 21, according to diocesan Chancellor Ellen Lynch.
 
Father Leo Petit, a priest of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart was added to the list following notification from the religious order to the Rockford Diocese. 
 
Father Petit served at Sacred Heart, Aurora, in 1997 and possibly later and at St. Joseph, Elgin, in 1992 and 1993. 
 
The alleged abuse was reported to the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. The abuse was reported to have occurred in 1993. Father Petit died in 2014.
 
Since the publication of the list on the website in 2018, the names of six priests — all non-diocesan priests — have been added to the list. With each update the diocese notified the respective parishes where those priests served of the reports against the priest and encouraged any other victims to come forward. 
 
Those updates and names are:
 
– March 5, 2019: Father Joseph Jablonski, MSC and Father David Heimann, Diocese of Columbus, Ohio.
 
– March 21, 2019: Father Ivan Rovira, Diocese of Brownsville, Texas.
 
– Jan. 13, 2020: Father Daniel Cipar, MSC.
 
– Aug. 31, 2020: Father Aloysius Piorkowski, ordained in Poland.
 
The complete list can be found on the Diocese of Rockford website at https://www.rockforddiocese.org/safe-environment/wp-content/uploads/Letter-to-Faithful.List_.-UPDATED-10212020.pdf.
 
A letter from Bishop David Malloy accompanying the list published in 2018 states, “The people of the diocese can be assured that those clergy members who are ministering to them today in their parishes and schools and other diocesan facilities are doing so according to the diocese’s strict standards of pastoral and moral conduct.
 
“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. 
 
“It is important that the Catholic faithful of the Diocese of Rockford are free to worship in environments that are safe, and that all clergy, staff and volunteers are criminally background checked, trained and held accountable for that safety. 
 
“It is our policy that no clergy, staff or volunteer with a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor made against him or her shall be allowed to minister in this diocese.
 
“For more information about the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Essential Norms, the diocese’s safe environment policies and training of children and adults in prevention, detection and reporting of sexual abuse, please visit www.rockforddiocese.org,” the letter says.
 
Catholics in the Rockford Diocese are reminded that if they or someone they know has been the victim of abuse by clergy or any Church employee or volunteer, they should report the allegation to law enforcement 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 reportsexualabuse@rockforddiocese.org.
 
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