Msgr. Joseph R. Schwaegel: Allegations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor Have Been Admitted, Established or Determined to Be Credible

Msgr. Joseph R. Schwaegel

Ordained: 1965

  • 1967-1968: Academy of Notre Dame, Belleville, IL (BEL)
  • 1969-1977: Cathedral of St. Peter, Belleville, IL (BEL)
  • 1978-1988: Special Assignment – Chancery Office (BEL)
  • 1989-1993: Cathedral of St. Peter, Belleville, IL (BEL)
  • 1990-1993: Secular Franciscan Order -St. Peter Fraternity, Belleville, IL (BEL)
  • 1994-2002: Leave of Absence (BEL)
  • 2003-2016: Retired (BEL)
  • 2016: Died

Msgr. Joseph R. Schwaegel held several high-level positions in the Diocese of Belleville, including Vicar General, Chancellor, and secretary to two former bishops. Msgr. Schwaegel is an admitted sex addict and has been arrested at least two times for solicitation. He has been named in at least one civil lawsuit alleging sexual abuse of an 8-year-old boy in 1973. Msgr. Schwaegel has been accused of improper sexual activity by at least four individuals. One lawsuit involving Msgr. Schwaegel, which settled in 2003, alleged that a minor boy was abused on three occasions in the rectory of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Belleville. Msgr. Schwaegel was treated for his “addictions” at a Maryland hospital. In 2018, Msgr. Schwaegel was included on the Diocese of Belleville’s list of “Clergy who are Currently Removed from Ministry after Credibly Substantiated Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors, or Serious Sexual Misconduct with Adults.” Msgr. Schwaegel’s whereabouts and whether he had access to children from 1994 until his death are unknown.