February 24, 2006

Man sues over alleged 1969 rape by priest

Chicago Tribune

By Crystal Yednak, Tribune staff reporter. Tribune staff reporter Margaret Ramirez contributed to this report
Published February 24, 2006

A 50-year-old man filed a lawsuit against the Rockford Catholic Diocese and the Conventual Franciscans on Thursday, alleging that a Franciscan priest raped him when he was 13 years old.

Donald Bondick alleges in the suit filed in Winnebago County that Rev. Theodore Feely sexually abused him in 1969 when he was a boy. Feely, who died in 1991, was a priest at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Rockford, and close with Bondick's family.

The lawsuit alleges the diocese, which covers northwestern Illinois and Kane and McHenry Counties, did not do enough to protect children from Feely.

A spokeswoman for the diocese said church officials would not have an immediate response to the lawsuit Thursday.

Bondick said that a month after the rape took place, he went to a different parish for confession and told the priest in the confessional about Feely. The priest pulled him out of the confessional and told him he was making blasphemous statements, Bondick said Thursday.

Posted by kshaw at February 24, 2006 08:11 AM