17 Jul 2008

Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport has released the names of 24 of its priests who can be "credibly accused" of sexual abuse.

Chicago Tribune - July 12, 2008
Associated Press

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport has released the names of 24 of its priests who can be "credibly accused" of sexual abuse. More names could be released later.

Release of the names was one of the non-monetary provisions the diocese had to fulfill as part of its $37 million settlement to emerge from the bankruptcy protection it sought because of its clergy sex abuse scandal.

Most of the names have been published before, but the list includes several new ones.

Names of some priests accused of abuse are not on the list, including retired Sioux City Bishop Lawrence Soens.

Soens has been accused of many acts of abuse while he was principal of Iowa City Regina in the 1950s and 1960s. The bankruptcy settlement requires the Davenport diocese to submit a report to the pope's diplomatic representative in the United States about Soens. Victim advocates have said they hope that leads to Soens being defrocked.

Deacon David Montgomery, spokesman for the diocese said the claims against Soens still are being reviewed, although the report to the Vatican already has been sent. A few other priests also still are being investigated, he said.

Craig Levien, a Davenport attorney who represents about half of the 162 avowed victims who filed claims in the bankruptcy case, wants the diocese to release complete files on the priests. He wants to know where they served and where those still alive are now.

"This isn't the full and complete story," Levien said.

Montgomery said he hoped to have that additional information on the 24 named clergy available next week.

The bankruptcy settlement says the diocese must publicly release the names of all "perpetrators" and post them on its Web site for nine years.

The names released so far are: James Janssen, Francis Bass, William Wiebler, Theodore Geerts, Frank Martinez, James Leu, Thomas Feeney, Carl Meinberg, Herman Bongers, Richard Welsh, Thomas Hackett, Louis Telegdy, Donald Redmond, Fidelis Forrester, Placidus Kieffer, Raymond Kalter, Paul Deyo, Alphonse Wagner, John Kennedy, Bernard Brugman, Orville DeCoursey and Sylvester Conrad. Also included are Brothers Francis Skube and Mark Quillen, who are members of a lay religious group.

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