Diocese of Des Moines names priests credibly accused of sexually abusing children

The Diocese of Des Moines has released the names of nine priests it says are credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

Posted: Apr 4, 2019 11:31 AM
Updated: Apr 4, 2019 1:31 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Diocese of Des Moines has released the names of nine priests it says are credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

The Des Moines Register reports that a diocesan committee, which included local clergy, a police chief and a judge, investigated the allegations of abuse that spanned from 1940 to 1997.

All but two of the priests named are dead, and seven had already been tied to abuse allegations — including Albert Wilwerding, John Ryan, and Richard Wagner, who were all defrocked in 2003 after allegations against them were found credible.

Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates says he shares "the anger and frustration" over recent reports of abuse by clergy, and that he hopes the release of the list Thursday will facilitate healing.

The following priests were named in a media handout:

Paul Connelly, deceased in 2007
Howard Fitzgerald, resides outside the diocese
Phil Hobt, deceased in 2017
Dennis Mangan, deceased 1976
John Ryan, deceased 2010
Richard Wagner, deceased 2012
Albert Wilerding, deceased 2004
Francis Zuch, deceased 1993
Leonard Kenkel, resides in a senior care facility within the diocese

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