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   A metro-east man is accusing a former Catholic priest of sexual abusing him when he was a child, and he wants to hold church officials accountable.  

   The Breese man filed a lawsuit against the Belleville Catholic diocese alleging Robert J. Vonnahmen sexually abused him at a church camp in the Ozarks in the early 1970s.  

   In the 1990s, Vonnahmen was one of more than a dozen priests in the Belleville Diocese removed for alleged sexual abuse of children.  Vonnahmen was formally defrocked by Rome in 2007.  

   The lawsuit claims the diocese failed to investigate complaints about Vonnahmen from other children.

Published in Local News

   The former bishop of the Belleville Diocese says he may sell the $2.2 million home he had built in Atlanta's toniest neighborhood.  

   Archbishop Wilton Gregory apologized to parishioners late Monday for building the 6,000 square foot, Tudor-style mansion in Buckhead.  Gregory wrote on the website of the archdiocesan newspaper that he hadn't considered the impact his residence would have on parishioners who were giving to the church and struggling to pay their own bills.  

   Gregory was bishop of Belleville from 1994 to 2003, when he was named Archbishop of Atlanta.

Published in Local News

   BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville in southern Illinois is pairing its parishes so they can be served by one priest.

   According to a plan released Thursday, the move will mean no parish in the diocese will be closed anytime soon.

   Diocese spokesman Monsignor John Myler says the plan encourages the parishes to prepare for a time when only 50 priests will be available to pastor. He says parishes have been instructed to begin working jointly immediately.

   Myler says the parishes are to implement the pastoral plan in a dynamic, flexible, gradual manner. He says if two or more parishes decide it is better to close a church building, it would be a decision of those parishes.

   The diocese covers the 28 southernmost Illinois counties and includes 121 parishes.

 
Published in Local News

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