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Peoria Catholic Diocese Highlighted in State Wide Lawsuit Against Catholic Bishops

Chilling allegations against the Peoria Catholic Diocese, as sexual abuse survivors speak publicly for the first time about how their reports are being handled.

Three of the survivors are part of a public nuisance lawsuit against all of the Catholic bishops in the state of Illinois. That same lawsuit alleges that three priests within the Peoria Diocese were involved in unpermitted sexual behavior.

In a statement Thursday afternoon the Peoria Diocese denied the allegations, specifically stating that they have not ignored the allegations.

An emotional day Darin Buckman and the two other survivors won’t forget, speaking out about their alleged abuse by priests in the Catholic Church.

“When something happens like this, what comes into it is blame, it’s my fault, depression, anxiety, alcoholism, it’s part of the avenue of coping with what had happened.”

Darin said that he was abused when he was between 8 and 14 years old by Father John Anderson when he served in Chillicothe.

“He took away my manhood and my childhood,”

His attorney standing with those survivors on Thursday presenting a lawsuit against all the Catholic bishops in Illinois. including Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria. the main claim is that the bishops have ignored accusations against those within their ranks. The attorney speaking out…

“We demanded answers that Darin wanted about the priest and what they knew. We demanded that they addressed him and respond to his concerns and to get information. Everything that we sent to Patricia Gibson and Bishop Jenky was ignored.”

In a statement Thursday afternoon the Peoria Diocese says that this claim is untrue. Another alleged victim said he was abused by Monsignor Charles Beebe – in Peoria – at age 15.

The plaintiffs claim Monsignor Beebe is still practicing the ministry.The Diocese Thursday said he retired in 2016 and that the allegation was unsubstantiated and could not be deemed credible.

Not a good enough answer for those who spoke out on Thursday, like Darin, who just want one thing.

” I knew I had to come to this so no other child would be sexually abused again”

This lawsuit does not only address specific cases in the Peoria Diocese, but also cases in Springfield and Rockford.
In response to the suit as a whole, the Peoria Diocese said that the church is committed to maintaining a safe environment to all children.

Kaitlin Pearson

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