February 26, 2006

Diocese denies link to priest

Chicago Tribune

Associated Press
Published February 26, 2006

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockford said Friday that a now-deceased priest accused of abusing a teen in 1969 never was under the diocese's direction.

Rev. Theodore Feely was a member of the Franciscan order and did not work for the diocese, spokesman Owen Phelps said in a statement. Diocese officials first learned of abuse allegations against Feely four years ago, Phelps said. Feely died in 1991.

Both the diocese and the Chicago-based Conventual Franciscans of St. Bonaventure Province were named in the lawsuit filed Thursday by Donald Bondick of Rockford.

Bondick accuses Feely of raping him in 1969 when he was 13.

At a news conference, Bondick said Feely worked with young people and youth sports at his family's church, St. Anthony of Padua in Rockford. Feely also was a friend of the family who watched Chicago Bears games with Bondick's father at the family's home, Bondick said.

Posted by kshaw at February 26, 2006 07:14 AM