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Iowa diocese identifies 28 priests accused of abusing minors

At least 28 priests are credibly accused of having sexually abused more than 100 boys and girls while working for a Roman Catholic diocese in Iowa, church officials announced Monday.

Posted: Feb 25, 2019 3:17 PM

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — At least 28 priests are credibly accused of having sexually abused more than 100 boys and girls while working for a Roman Catholic diocese in Iowa, church officials announced Monday.

The Diocese of Sioux City identified those 28 priests as it published a long-awaited list of those who have been the subject of credible allegations of sexual abuse involving minors.

The list included about 5 percent of the priests who have worked for the diocese at some point since its inception in 1902. A 29th priest has been accused but his name is being withheld pending an appeal to the Vatican.

"Publishing this list is the beginning of a new chapter in the history of our diocese," said Bishop R. Walker Nickless, who released the list at a news conference. "We want it to usher in a climate of openness and transparency, resulting in the protection of our youth and accountability for clergy and church leaders."

He said releasing information about the church's "shameful history" might help some victims heal while reopening old wounds for others.

Advocates for abuse victims had long urged the diocese to release such a list, as two of Iowa's three other Roman Catholic dioceses have done. The diocese had promised to do so in November after an investigation by The Associated Press exposed its 32-year cover-up of the Rev. Jerome Coyle, who had allegedly confessed to abusing more than 50 boys over a 20-year period.

The diocese, which operates churches and schools throughout northwestern Iowa, urged victims to come forward at that time. Its review board has spent recent weeks reviewing files and weighing the credibility of allegations.

The diocese said the alleged abuse took place between 1948 and 1995 and involved 106 individuals who have come forward to make claims. Additional complaints of abuse have been made more recently, but none have been deemed credible by police or a church review board, the diocese said.

All but six of the priests on the list have died. Those who are still living are not involved in the ministry or active with youth, and have been stripped of their ability to celebrate mass or represent themselves as priests, the diocese said.

Diocese officials acknowledged the list is likely incomplete because additional victims have not come forward. For instance, the diocese said that it was aware of 13 victims of Coyle even though he allegedly confessed to abusing dozens more.

The list included 39 victims of the Rev. George McFadden, whose abuse has long been documented and spawned an array of civil lawsuits, and 11 victims of the Rev. Peter Murphy. More than half of the identified priests, however, only have one known accuser.

The list does not include former Sioux City Bishop Lawrence Soens even though he allegedly abused boys while he was a priest and principal. Soens, who retired as bishop in 1998, is not included on the list because the allegations date to when he worked for a different diocese.

The list also did not include a priest who was removed from the ministry in 2017 after being accused of improperly touching a girl's leg during confession, or an active priest who chased after an adult parishioner in 2013 while naked and yelling about raping her.

Still, the list represents a more comprehensive accounting than statistics that were released by now-Cardinal Daniel DiNardo when he was Sioux City bishop in 2004. DiNardo, who is now archbishop of Galveston-Houston and leads the church's response to the sexual abuse crisis, told Sioux City parishioners in 2004 that it was aware of 33 allegations against 10 priests since 1950.

The diocese says it had paid $4.7 million in legal settlements to 58 individuals since 2002.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 926931

Reported Deaths: 9740
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1809132056
Ramsey749811054
Dakota68505591
Anoka64961589
Washington41119367
Stearns34021287
St. Louis29939416
Scott26281188
Wright26260226
Olmsted22677131
Sherburne19206130
Carver1687671
Clay12219108
Blue Earth1162171
Rice11578139
Crow Wing11318124
Chisago1005281
Kandiyohi9913108
Otter Tail9908130
Benton9174128
Beltrami8249100
Goodhue822699
Douglas7967101
Itasca779999
Mower740049
McLeod723384
Winona715158
Isanti711085
Steele695034
Morrison678681
Becker631675
Polk608987
Freeborn569947
Carlton552577
Mille Lacs539479
Lyon532961
Nicollet528561
Nobles527954
Pine521143
Cass505255
Todd496443
Brown473661
Le Sueur464736
Meeker437960
Martin391344
Waseca381433
Wabasha380110
Dodge366412
Hubbard357649
Roseau320532
Fillmore310115
Wadena306040
Redwood283845
Houston275317
Renville271651
Faribault261835
Sibley256017
Pennington254830
Kanabec254437
Cottonwood232933
Aitkin225052
Chippewa222043
Pope209910
Watonwan201121
Yellow Medicine189925
Koochiching179225
Rock178429
Swift174124
Stevens170211
Jackson162016
Clearwater159421
Marshall154822
Murray152911
Pipestone150929
Lake134124
Lac qui Parle124425
Wilkin122016
Mahnomen108314
Norman10579
Grant102410
Big Stone9585
Lincoln8915
Kittson74623
Red Lake71810
Traverse6086
Unassigned563124
Lake of the Woods5285
Cook3141

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 527597

Reported Deaths: 7379
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk81677809
Linn32838430
Scott27126295
Black Hawk22334382
Woodbury20736263
Johnson20150108
Dubuque18996243
Pottawattamie16215214
Dallas15573115
Story1398059
Warren8637107
Cerro Gordo8141125
Clinton7928115
Webster7419124
Des Moines7153106
Marshall675494
Muscatine6717117
Wapello6546145
Jasper630591
Sioux622477
Lee5977106
Marion567697
Buena Vista503449
Plymouth493388
Henry427155
Benton414760
Jones413564
Bremer403873
Boone397042
Washington395464
Carroll373355
Mahaska372366
Crawford355647
Jackson324047
Dickinson317555
Buchanan312743
Delaware303255
Clay297636
Kossuth293477
Fayette290356
Hardin289253
Tama282878
Page276133
Wright270050
Cedar269527
Winneshiek267744
Hamilton262757
Floyd261049
Clayton252360
Poweshiek242043
Harrison240979
Madison237425
Butler237346
Cass235667
Iowa234336
Jefferson228544
Mills225330
Hancock222840
Winnebago222339
Cherokee217347
Appanoose210157
Lyon209842
Allamakee209456
Calhoun199519
Shelby199542
Union197141
Unassigned18890
Humboldt188231
Franklin188031
Grundy186137
Chickasaw184522
Mitchell184343
Emmet180146
Louisa178653
Sac175626
Guthrie169338
Clarke163629
Montgomery163146
Keokuk152639
Palo Alto152332
Howard150624
Monroe144340
Ida134141
Greene128818
Davis126825
Lucas126127
Monona124940
Worth12309
Pocahontas122125
Adair118239
Osceola105718
Decatur104813
Taylor100914
Fremont98913
Van Buren95922
Wayne86125
Ringgold78429
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