Press Releases / Diocesan News

 

 

 

Date: August 28, 2014
RE: 
Middle East Special Collection

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Persecution of Christians and other non-Islamic faiths has reached appalling proportions in the Middle East. Many have died and many more are displaced, running for some place of refuge from the attacking extremists. The Middle East, the cradle of the faith for Christians, Jewish and Muslims, is not a place of co-existence but a broad and shifting war zone where various factions maneuver for dominance and power. Iraq, Syria and Gaza are now places where violence is directed at so many Christians and others who seek just to protect their children and survive. Life with peace and dignity is impossible.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has asked that all parishes consider a special collection on the weekend of September 6-7. The collection will be used by CRS and other Catholic agencies working in partnership with the local Church to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs facing the people in Iraq, Gaza, Syria and surrounding countries where refugees have fled.

Our Christian brothers and sisters and other innocent victims of the violence in the Middle East urgently need the assistance of the Catholic community of the United States. Thank you for your support of this special collection and for your continued prayers for the victims of this crisis.

Sincerely in Christ,
Most Rev. Martin Amos
Bishop of Davenport

 

-END-

Date: June 26, 2014
RE:  Statement on the Developing Humanitarian Situation
 on the Southern Border of the United States

A November 2013 report from the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Committee on Migration alerted us to the ongoing increase in migration of unaccompanied children across the border. More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border since the beginning of the year.

The report found a “perfect storm” of reasons leading to this phenomenon, including an absence of economic opportunities, a lack of access to education, and a desire to reunify with family in the United States. One cause has played a decisive role in recent years: extreme violence in the countries of origin and a corresponding breakdown of the rule of law. This violence has resulted in part because of the drug trade driven by users in the United States.

We appreciate government officials for responding as best they can to this crisis and ask them to make sure that legal services are available to unaccompanied children. Children without family in the U.S. are at risk of being sent back to an unsafe situation. The best interests of these children should be a priority.

In a recent statement for World Refugee Day, Pope Francis said “Jesus was a refugee” and called upon Catholics and others to “alleviate their suffering in a concrete way.” We are responding the best we can through our Catholic Charities organizations and ask the government to do the same.

Most Rev. Michael Jackels
Archbishop of Dubuque

Most Rev. R. Walker Nickless
Bishop of Sioux City

Most Rev. Martin Amos
Bishop of Davenport

Most Rev. Richard Pates
Bishop of Des Moines

 

-END-

 

 

Date: May 2, 2014
RE:  1950s Abuse by James Janssen in the Diocese of Joliet

From Most Rev. Martin Amos, Bishop of Davenport: “I am deeply saddened by the news we heard today of the abuse in Hinsdale, Illinois by James Janssen in the 1950’s that was found credible by the Diocese of Joliet.  I was unaware of the recent report made to the Archdiocese of Chicago by a person who was abused by Janssen over 50 years ago.  James Janssen was laicized (defrocked) by the Vatican in 2004 and no longer functions as a priest.  I continue to pray and urge everyone to pray that the healing process for the survivors of abuse will continue.”

 “The Diocese will continue to promote safe environments for children by mandating ongoing training in recognizing and eliminating threats to children, complying with the Charter and Norms of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and mandating background checks for all clergy and for employees and volunteers who work with children.  Alicia Owens, the victim assistance coordinator for the Diocese, will continue to provide assistance to survivors of abuse.”

 To report child sexual abuse contact the Iowa Department of Human Services, Child Abuse Hotline: 800-362-2178 If the abuse involves clergy or church personnel, also notify Alicia Owens, Victim Assistance Coordinator: 563-349-5002, PO Box 232 Bettendorf, IA 52722-0004. vacdav@attglobal.net

Date: June 26, 2013
RE: Response to U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Marriage

From Bishop Amos, Bishop of Davenport:

The Diocese of Davenport is deeply disappointed in the ruling today by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding two cases relating to marriage.  The Diocese joined the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and other organizations and individuals in urging the Court to uphold both the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8.

The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) denies federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married in the states where they reside.  California's Proposition 8 recognized marriage only between a man and a woman in California.  Lower courts had struck down both of these laws.

The Court found DOMA unconstitutional.  Regarding Proposition 8, the Court dismissed the case and said the private petitioners could not bring the case to court.  Since the state of California had declined to defend it, the ruling striking down Proposition 8 is still in force.  The Court did not find a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. 

Marriage is and can only be the union of one man and one woman.  It is the only institution that unites a man and a woman with each other and with any child who comes from their union.

Every child has a mother and a father.  Only a man can be a father; only a woman can be a mother.  Parenting is gender-specific, not gender-neutral.  Every child has a basic right to a mother and a father who are united in marriage.  While circumstances may prevent a child from being raised by his or her own mother and father, marriage provides for the needs of a child in ordinary circumstances.

The Diocese of Davenport will continue to defend and to promote marriage as a sacred institution between a man and a woman.

-END-

 

 

Date: May 23, 2013
RE:   Fr. Harness reinstated as pastor of Holy Family Parish, Davenport 

From Bishop Martin Amos, Bishop of Davenport:

Fr. Harness has been reinstated as pastor of Holy Family Parish in Davenport.  After an extensive month-long investigation by Detective James Sweeney, Sweeney & Associates, the Diocese of Davenport Review Board advised me that Father Harness should be restored to ministry.  Father Harness will resume his ministry immediately.

This press release is being sent to the media sources throughout the diocese to report the outcome of the investigation, but also in the hope of helping to restore the good character of Fr. Harness.

The incident that prompted the report occurred in approximately 1990.  It was reported that Fr. Harness inappropriately touched a minor during a game that was played at a high school retreat.  The game was played in full view of as many as 50 students and 10 adults.  None of the witnesses observed nor has anyone else reported any inappropriate behavior by Father Harness. 

The diocese reported the incident to the Scott County Attorney in compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the diocese and the County Attorney.  The Scott County Attorney gave permission to the diocese to investigate the case.

My concern is to protect the rights of all those involved in this case.  I must also comply with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Charter and Norms relating to the process to be followed and with the legal requirements mandated by the courts.  While the investigation proceeded, the diocese was required to remove        Fr. Harness from active ministry.

Part of the extensive investigative process is to ascertain whether there are additional people who have not yet reported incidents of abuse or misconduct.  We have learned over a period of many years that some people cannot come forward unless someone has made a report before them.  No other reports of inappropriate behavior have been received by the diocese regarding Fr. Harness.

This has been a painful process for everyone involved.  I hope that in the end, the process that the diocese follows will restore the dignity of all those who have been harmed.

In order to protect the privacy of the reporter, the diocese declines to provide details about the report.

To report child sexual abuse

Contact the Iowa Department of Human Services Child Abuse Hotline: 800-362-2178
If the abuse involves clergy or church personnel, also notify
Alicia Owens, Victim Assistance Coordinator: 563-349-5002 | PO Box 232 Bettendorf, IA 52722-0004
vacdav@attglobal.net

-END-

 

Date: May 6, 2013
RE:   
                      Joint Statement from the Catholic Bishops of Iowa
                              Guest Essay on Health Care Coverage
 
We, the Catholic bishops of Iowa, are grateful that the governor and the Iowa Legislature are debating how to make health care coverage more readily available to low-income Iowans.
 
The Catholic Church has millennia of experience as providers of health care for all, especially the poor. Among the causes that contribute to poverty are “inadequate measures for guaranteeing basic health care” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 447). It is in this spirit we reiterate our Catholic tradition that teaches that health care is a natural human right, essential to protecting human life and dignity.
 
We believe there are several criteria that should be considered when evaluating a health care proposal. It should 1) ensure access to quality, readily accessible, affordable, life giving health care for all; 2) retain longstanding requirements that federal funds not be used for elective abortions or plans that include them, and effectively protect conscience rights; and 3) protect the access to health care that immigrants currently have and remove current barriers to access.
 
Ultimately it is the role of our civil leaders to decide what is most practical in achieving the common good. Currently the Medicaid public health insurance program is limited to very low-income adults who have dependents or a disability. One of the decisions facing the Legislature is whether to extend Medicaid with the assistance of additional federal dollars.
 
The proposed "Medicaid expansion" passed by the Iowa Senate would:
 

  • extend coverage to almost all people who earn less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level – projected to include 150,000 persons in Iowa;
  • persons whose income is from 138-400 percent of FPL could purchase private plans with the assistance of tax credits through an “exchange” (marketplace);
  • if a person qualifies for the program by reason of income, they are entitled to care
  • there are no monthly premiums;
  • it would cost the state’s budget less money during the next several years due to the federal government paying a greater share of the expenses.

A Healthy Iowa plan passed by the Iowa House would:

  • extend coverage to those who earn less than 100 percent of the FPL – about 90,000 people;
  • persons whose income is from 100-400 FPL could purchase private insurance plans with the assistance of tax credits through the exchange;
  • enrollment and benefits may be limited, closed or reduced if costs exceed appropriated funds;
  • premiums would be required and recipients can be dropped from the program if they don’t pay;
  • the plan requires a waiver from the federal government.

 
Both plans would cover refugees and lawful permanent residents in the same way as Medicaid. Unfortunately, neither corrects a certain problem contained in the federal Affordable Care Act - the subsidization of health insurance plans in the exchange that include coverage of elective abortion. We call on the legislature to exclude these plans from the exchange.
 
With about a quarter-million Iowans lacking health care coverage, this issue remains an urgent priority. We call upon our political leaders to set aside partisan concerns and consider this issue with prudence and a commitment to the common good. Especially since the current limited IowaCare program is expiring, action by the General Assembly and the governor is critical to make sure that as many people as possible have access to life-sustaining health insurance.
 
 
Most Rev. Jerome Hanus, OSB, Apostolic Administrator, Archdiocese of Dubuque
Most Rev. R. Walker Nickless, Bishop of Sioux City
Most Rev. Martin Amos, Bishop of Davenport
Most Rev. Richard Pates, Bishop of Des Moines
 

-END

 

Date:      April 22, 2013
RE:         Two Priests Temporarily Removed From Ministry

From Bishop Amos:

The Diocese of Davenport has received a report which states that Father Robert Harness, Pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in Davenport, inappropriately touched a minor in approximately 1990. The Diocese has reported this to the Scott County Attorney in compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Diocese and the County Attorney.

Father Harness has been temporarily removed from ministry while this matter is being thoroughly investigated. The Diocese will meet with the leadership of the parish to assess its immediate needs and other issues of healing that may arise.

In an unrelated report, the Diocese of Davenport has received a report which states that Father John Stack, Chaplain at Mercy Medical Clinton in Clinton, inappropriately touched minors in approximately the 1980s. The Diocese has reported this to the Scott County Attorney in compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Diocese and the County Attorney. 

Father Stack has been temporarily removed from ministry while this matter is being thoroughly investigated.

The list of assignments for both priests is attached.

We apologize, again, for all those who have been abused and continue to pray for them.

To report child sexual abuse
Contact the Iowa Department of Human Services
Child Abuse Hotline: 800-362-2178
If the abuse involves clergy or church personnel, also notify
Alicia Owens, Victim Assistance Coordinator: 563-349-5002
PO Box 232 Bettendorf, IA
52722-0004
vacdav@attglobal.net

 

Fr. Harness

06/25/1982 - 07/31/1982 Clinton: St. Mary - Assistant
07/31/1982 - 10/16/1984 Dewitt: St. Joseph - Associate
07/31/1982 - 10/16/1984 Welton: St Anne - Associate
10/16/1984 - 07/01/1992 Harper: St. Elizabeth - Pastor
10/16/1984 - 07/01/1992 Clear Creek: Sts. Peter and Paul - Pastor
07/11/1988 - 09/22/1988 Keota: St. Mary - Administrator
09/22/1988 - 07/01/1992 Keota: St. Mary - Pastor
07/01/1992 - 07/07/1994 Keota: Holy Trinity (Keota, Clear Creek, Harper) - Pastor
07/07/1994 - 07/01/2009 Dewitt: St. Joseph - Pastor
07/01/1996 - 07/30/1998 Grand Mound: Ss. Philip and James - Pastor
05/31/1997 - 07/08/1997 Sugar Creek: Ss. Mary and Joseph - Administrator
03/08/1999 - 07/06/1999 Grand Mound: Ss. Philip and James - Administrator
07/06/1999 - 10/30/2006 Grand Mound: Ss. Philip and James - Pastor
03/03/2003 - 07/01/2003 Lost Nation: Sacred Heart - Administrator
03/03/2003 - 07/01/2003 Oxford Junction: Sacred Heart - Administrator
03/03/2003 - 07/01/2003 Toronto: St. James - Administrator
01/30/2004 - 07/01/2004 Lost Nation: Sacred Heart - Administrator
01/30/2004 - 07/01/2004 Toronto: St. James - Administrator
01/30/2004 - 07/01/2004 Oxford Junction: Sacred Heart - Administrator
10/17/2005 - 06/30/2006 Charlotte: Assumption and St. Patrick Church - Canonical Pastor
10/17/2005 - 06/30/2006 Sugar Creek: Ss. Mary and Joseph - Canonical Pastor
06/30/2006 – 06/30/2009 Charlotte: Assumption and St. Patrick Church - Canonical Pastor
07/01/2009 Davenport: Holy Family – Pastor

Fr. Stack 

06/01/1988 - 07/02/1990 Davenport: Holy Family - Parochial Vicar
07/02/1990 - 05/13/1992 Keokuk: All Saints - Parochial Vicar
05/13/1992 - 06/14/1993 East Pleasant Plain: St. Joseph - Pastor
05/13/1992 - 06/14/1993 Richland: St. Francis Xavier - Pastor
06/01/1994 - Clinton: Samaritan Health Systems - Chaplain
05/01/1996 - 04/01/1997 Clinton: The Alverno - Chaplain
10/07/1996 - 07/01/2000 Camanche: Church of the Visitation - Administrator
08/15/2000 - 06/30/2004 Clinton: Sisters of St. Francis - Chaplain
01/30/2004 - 07/01/2004 Lost Nation: Sacred Heart - Sacramental Minister
01/30/2004 - 07/01/2004 Toronto: St. James - Sacramental Minister
01/30/2004 - 07/01/2004 Oxford Junction: Sacred Heart - Sacramental Minister
07/01/2004 - 10/17/2005 Sugar Creek: Ss. Mary and Joseph - Administrator
07/01/2004 - 10/17/2005 Charlotte: Assumption and St. Patrick Church - Administrator
10/17/2005 - 06/30/2006 Dewitt: St. Joseph - Sacramental Minister
10/17/2005 - 06/30/2006 Grand Mound: Ss. Philip & James - Sacramental Minister

-END-

 

Date: July 6, 2012
RE:
          Deceased Lay Man Added to Abuser List

The Diocese of Davenport Review Board recommended today the addition of one deceased lay man to the list of credible allegations of abuse posted on the Diocesan website, www.davenportdiocese.org.  The case of abuse was reported during the bankruptcy process.

The Review Board recommended to Bishop Amos that a report of abuse of a male minor by lay man Walter Phipps was credible.  Phipps was a football coach at Our Lady of Lourdes school in Bettendorf between 1973 and 1975.  Phipps was arrested in 1987 in an unrelated case and was convicted of sexual abuse in the third degree.  He was sentenced to ten years in prison.  Phipps died on May 16, 2010.

With regard to a second report of abuse perpetrated by a lay man, the Review Board recommended that additional investigation be performed by James Sweeney before a credibility decision is made.

Date: June 21, 2011
RE:
      Reaction to U.S. Supreme Court Decision / Deferred Action for DREAMers 

The Diocese of Davenport joins with the U.S. bishops in greeting with hope and caution the June 25 Supreme Court decision to strike down provisions of an Arizona immigration law that would have allowed warrantless arrests of people suspected of an offense that is deportable, that would have made it a crime to seek work in the state and that would have made undocumented presence a state crime.

The bishops found hope in the decision in Arizona vs. United States and said it reflects the bishops’ call for humane and just immigration laws and concern for laws that could tear families apart.  Their caution lay in the lifting of an injunction against immigrants having to show papers in some circumstances.

 Recently President Obama signed an executive order ordering the Department of Homeland Security to defer deportation actions against undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country before age 16, have resided in the U.S. for five years or more, and are in college or are high school graduates or serve in the military, who are currently under 30 and have no criminal record.

This is not the dream act.  It is merely a presidential decision to defer action on the efforts to deport these youths.  It does not lead to citizenship or even legal permanent residence.   It will not provide access to any federal benefits such as Medicaid or food stamps.   Its intent is to provide justice to children brought here without documentation and without a say in the process.  It may allow youth who qualify to work, to go to college, to enlist in the military, without constantly looking over their shoulders, fearing deportation for a period of two years.  It may be renewable.    It may allow those who qualify for participation the opportunity to obtain a driver’s license.  It does not provide any protection or benefits for the parents of the youth, nor for any other relatives of the youth.  It is provided on a case by case basis upon application, it does not automatically apply to all youth meeting the general requirements.

As an executive order of the president, it can modify the procedures of the administrative branch of the government to direct the deferring deportation actions, but it is not law, and does not change the federal immigration laws or any state law unless the state voluntarily agrees to make the changes.  This means that no driver’s license will be issued in a state that has laws requiring essentially legal permanent residence or citizenship to obtain one, unless the state acts to allow it.  Similarly, decisions about eligibility for in-state tuition, grants and loans for students are state decisions not affected by the order.  In fact, as this is an executive order of the president, not a law, a new president could rescind the order. 

It will be at least 60 days, possibly longer, until the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies involved will publish rules, forms, and implementing instructions so that attorneys and agencies such as the Diocese of Davenport Immigration office can begin processing cases.   There are no instructions or forms presently.

These cases will be under great scrutiny to prevent fraud.   Fraud in the application process will lead to deportation.  We do not know what evidences of entry, time in the country, freedom from criminal record and age that the Department of Homeland Security will require.  Applicants will need to document economic necessity in order to obtain a work permit. 

The following is a summary of the eligibility requirements and a list of the types of documentation we expect will be required or will be helpful in the application process. 

Eligibility Requirements

ü  Entered the U.S. before age 16 and before June 15, 2012

ü  Currently aged 15-30

ü  Continuously residing in the U.S. for five years and present on June 15, 2012

ü  Currently in school, have graduated from high school, obtained a GED, or been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces

 ü  Not been convicted of:

·         A felony

·         A significant misdemeanor

·         Three or more minor misdemeanors

ü  Not pose a threat to national security or public safety

Proof of Eligibility (Documentation Requirements)

o   All applicants must submit biometrics (finger prints) and undergo a background check

o   Proof of entry before age 16, age, five years of continuous residency, and physical presence on June 15, 20012.  Documents that may assist:

o   Bank records, tax records, paid bills with addresses

o   Medical records

o   School Records

o   Employment Records

o   Military records

o   Church records

o   Proof of current school enrollment or completion

o   School enrollment records (report cards, registration records)

o   Diploma

o   GED certificates

o   School Transcripts

 

-END-

Date: June 21, 2011

RE:          Bankruptcy Ends for the Diocese of Davenport

The Diocese of Davenport bankruptcy case has been closed by the Honorable Lee M. Jackwig, Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Iowa.

Judge Jackwig found that the Diocese has met the requirements of the bankruptcy plan that was ordered on June 26, 2008, including full compliance with the Non-Monetary Undertakings.

Most Rev. Martin Amos, Bishop of Davenport, said, “The bankruptcy process provided the best opportunity for healing and for the just and fair compensation of those who have suffered sexual abuse by priests in our Diocese.  The settlement also provided the best way to continue the Church’s mission in the Diocese of Davenport.  While the bankruptcy process has closed, it will not end the suffering by some survivors of abuse.  I pray that the healing process for the survivors of abuse will continue.”

The Diocese negotiated a $37 million settlement with the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors on November 28, 2007.  Of the $37 million settlement, $19.5 million was committed from Travelers Insurance Company and $17.5 million from the Diocese of Davenport.

The Diocese will continue to promote safe environments for children by mandating ongoing training in recognizing and eliminating threats to children, complying with the Charter and Norms of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and mandating background checks for all clergy and for employees and volunteers who work with children.  Alicia Owens, the victim assistance coordinator for the Diocese, will continue to provide assistance to survivors of abuse.

To report child sexual abuse
Contact the Iowa Department of Human Services
Child Abuse Hotline: 800-362-2178
If the abuse involves clergy or church personnel, also notify
Alicia Owens, Victim Assistance Coordinator: 563-349-5002
PO Box 232 Bettendorf, IA 52722-0004
vacdav@attglobal.net

 

DATE:         February 14, 2012 
RE: Iowa Catholic bishops send letter to congressional delegation on HHS mandate

Iowa Catholic bishops send letter to congressional delegation on HHS mandate

Feb. 14, 2012


To Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network:

In response to a recent federal Health and Human Services Department mandate, the Catholic bishops of Iowa today sent a letter to members of Iowa’s congressional delegation urging co-sponsorship of the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179, S. 1467).

 

The HHS mandate will require almost all religious organizations to pay for sterilization and contraceptive coverage (including drugs which can cause abortions) in their health insurance plans for employees. The exemption provided for religious employers is so narrow it fails to cover the vast majority of faith-based organizations that help millions every year.

 

The President announced some changes on Feb. 10 in how that mandate will be administered, although the details are unclear. On the evening of Feb. 10, HHS issued a regulation finalizing the rule first issued in August 2011, without making any changes.

 

The bishops said in their letter, “the mandate will apparently continue to impose an extremely narrow definition of religious institution under which the ministry of Jesus Christ himself would not qualify … In addition, the mandate continues to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions. At a minimum, any regulation should fully respect religious freedom and freedom of conscience as enshrined in our Constitution and, in particular, the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights.”

 

In addition, all four diocesan bishops have sent letters opposing the mandate for distribution in the Catholic parishes of the state. Catholics and others of good will are encouraged to send a message to Congress at www.usccb.org/conscience.

 

The diocesan bishops of Iowa are Dubuque Archbishop Jerome Hanus, OSB; Bishop R. Walker Nickless of Sioux City; Bishop Martin Amos of Davenport, and Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines.

 

For an update from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ media blog, go to http://usccbmedia.blogspot.com/2012/02/six-more-things-everyone-should-know.html.



DATE:         January 26, 2012
 

RE: Health and Human Services (HHS) Ruling

January 26, 2012 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

 I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. 

 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers, including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and contraception.  Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write.  And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.

 As a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so).  The Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

 We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. 

 Therefore, I would ask of you two things.  First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer that wisdom and justice may prevail and religious liberty may be restored.  Second, I would also recommend visiting the Iowa Catholic Conference website or USCCB websites to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Administration’s decision. 

 Thank you for your prayers and attention to this critical issue.

 Sincerely in Christ,

Most Rev. Martin Amos
Bishop of Davenport

 

 

DATE:         September 4, 2011

RE:             Statement regarding Buchanan Abbey, Independence, Iowa

 Statement regarding Buchanan Abbey, Independence, Iowa

Several inquiries have been made to the officials of the Archdiocese of Dubuque concerning the institution, Buchanan Abbey,¯ which is located near Independence, IA. The inquiries arose because of communications in various media announcing that Mass and other religious services are being held at that institution and are open to the public.

 Assertions are also being made that the leader of the Buchanan Abbey is a Roman Catholic priest and that the institution is a Roman Catholic Benedictine Abbey.  No evidence has been provided to the officials of the Archdiocese of a valid ordination to the priesthood. Neither has any evidence been provided that would prove that the institution is in communion with Pope Benedict XVI, the Bishop of Rome.

 The institution is clearly not in communion with the Archbishop of Dubuque, who has not given any permission or approval to the institution. 

 In his solicitude for the spiritual welfare of the Roman Catholics of the Archdiocese, Archbishop Jerome Hanus, O.S.B., alerts the faithful, religious, and clergy of the Archdiocese that to the best of his knowledge there is no validly ordained priest at the Buchanan Abbey. If that is the case, there is great doubt that the Mass¯ and confessions at the Buchanan Abbey are in accord with the law of the Roman Catholic Church.  This communication is intended to warn the faithful of the Archdiocese of Dubuque to exercise great caution in relating to this institution.

 September 4, 2011

Rev. Msgr. Thomas E. Toale, Ph.D.

Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Dubuque


DATE:         May 18, 2011

RE:             John Jay College Report

 

Today, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York released the long anticipated report regarding The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010.ā€¯  It is the second of two studies about sexual abuse by Catholic priests.  The first study focused on the description and extent of the problem from 1950 to 2002 and was published in February, 2004.

 

The extensive report concluded that there was no single cause or predictor of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.  According to the report, Social and cultural changes in the 1960s and 1970s manifested in increased levels of deviant behavior in the general society and also among priests of the Catholic Church in the United States.  Organizational, psychological, and situational factors contributed to the vulnerability of individual priests in this period of normative change.

 

The study provides vital information on this devastating issue that has affected so many lives throughout society.  With this knowledge the Church will continue to expand educational programs, policies and procedures to extend a safe environment to all children and vulnerable adults. 

 

In the Diocese of Davenport, all employees and those volunteers who work on a regular basis with children are mandated to receive safe environment training through the Virtus Protecting God's Children¯ Program.  Over 7,465 people have been trained since the program began in 2003.  In 2010, the Diocese of Davenport was audited by the Gavin Group, of Boston, MA, and found to be in compliance with the Charter.  The Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator continues to provide outreach to survivors.  Bishop Amos supports the complete elimination of all criminal statutes of limitation for child sexual abuse committed by clergy or others in similar positions of authority

 

While the majority of cases occurred decades ago, the Church and society at large must remain vigilant in keeping our children safe and to provide assistance to survivors of abuse.

 

To report child sexual abuse

Contact the Iowa Department of Human Services

Child Abuse Hotline: 800-362-2178

If the abuse involves clergy or church personnel, also notify

Alicia Owens, Victim Assistance Coordinator: 563-349-5002

PO Box 232 Bettendorf, IA

52722-0004

vacdav@attglobal.net

 

Abuse Survivor's Support Group

The Diocese of Davenport is offering a support group for adult survivors of sex abuse as children.  If you are interested in learning more about the support group, contact Alicia Owens, Victim Assistance Coordinator: 563-349-5002.

 

Protecting God's Children

Sessions are open to all adults in the Diocese of Davenport and are mandated for all employees and those volunteers who work on a regular basis with children. To pre-register for a session, go to www.virtus.org and click on registration.¯

 


 

 

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