May 07, 2005

Catholic healing wonít happen in a courtroom

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

Denial reared its head in a Scott County courtroom this week, pushing the healing so desperately needed within the Catholic Church a little further away. Any healing that abuse victim James Wells might have been seeking wonít be found in a courtroom.

Former priest James Janssen took back his confession of sexual abuse and invoked Godís name in denying accusations he sexually abused boys in his care in the 1950s through the 1980s. A secular court hasnít rendered any verdict in this case, but the church has. The Davenport diocese has paid reparations to church members who accused Janssen of abuse. Heís been removed from the priesthood and evicted from diocese housing.

Records made public through civil lawsuits show he was suspended the first time for abuse allegations in 1956. The diocese suspended him in 1958 after more allegations. In the next 20 years, he was moved through six parishes. Nine lawsuits allege abuse during that time.

The Davenport dioceseís painfully slow response to the churchís sex scandal kept pushing the healing back. Now that the diocese appears to be accepting full responsibility, weíre wondering if healing can ever by obtained. And how?

Posted by kshaw at May 7, 2005 12:16 AM