Names of priests added to Rockford Catholic Diocese sexual abuse list

Rockford Register Star, Illinois/October 30, 2020

By Chris Green

Rockford — Six more names have been added to the Catholic Diocese of Rockford’s sexual abuse list.

The list, updated Oct. 21, now contains the names of 21 clergy members against whom allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been substantiated.

The names of the six priests added to the list and their parish assignments are:

‒ David F. Heimann, St. Peter Church of Rockford.

‒ Joseph Jablonski, St. Therese of Jesus Church of Aurora.

‒ Ivan Rovira, St. Joseph Church of Elgin, St. Therese of Jesus Church of Aurora.

‒ Daniel Cipar, Holy Cross Church of Batavia

‒ Aloysius Piorkowski, St. Wendelin Church of Shannon, Ss. John and Catherine Church of Mount Carroll, St. Mary Church of Galena, St. Peter Church of South Beloit, St. Mary Church of Polo, St. Mary Church of Sterling.

‒ Leo Petit, St. Joseph Church of Elgin and Sacred Heart Church of Aurora.

The list found on the Rockford Diocese website is attached to a 2018 letter from Bishop David Malloy. The letter in part states:

“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.”

In addition to the list a victim abuse hotline, 815-293-7540, also was created in 2018.

Three of the priests — Cipar, Piorkowski and Petit — are deceased. Heimann, who was removed from the ministry in Ohio in 1961, is listed as “reportedly deceased.” Diocese spokeswoman Penny Wiegert said his death has not been confirmed.

The names of the priests will be shared Sunday with parishioners.

“We ask that anybody who has been abused or feel that they have an allegation against a lay person, clergy or anyone who works for the local church diocese that they first notify the police in the county in which the abuse occurred and then contact the hotline,” Wiegert said.

According to the Rockford Diocese, there are 347,626 Catholics in the diocese’s 11-county area of Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, JoDaviess, Kane, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago counties. The diocese is served by 129 active priests.

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