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Ex-Peoria priest files abuse suit against another Peoria priest

April 21, 2009

Ben Rodriguez, a former priest of the Diocese of Peoria ordained in 1991, has accused Father Gordon Pillon-- ordained in 1979-- of abusing him while he was a teenager.

Decades ago, Father Pillon was ministering in the southern California Diocese of Orange, but was incardinated in the Diocese of Peoria in 1993. The two ministered together in four parishes in Clinton and La Salle, Illinois, where Father Pillon served as pastor and Rodriguez as his assistant.

In 2006, a young man accused Father Pillon of making advances towards him, and Rodriguez made his own allegations to diocesan authorities. Father Pillon stepped down from parish ministry, while Father Rodriguez says he was ordered to a treatment facility and told he had to leave the state. He later left the priesthood.

"He made an accusation against me at the Diocese of Peoria. That was sent to Rome. That case was not proven true," said Father Pillon. "It's still in Rome. It just shocks me that he would take it to a civil court."


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