January 19, 2005

Vatican orders canonical trials for two priests accused of abuse


DES MOINES, Iowa the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport says the Vatican has ordered trials under church law to determine whether two eastern Iowa priests accused of sexually abusing minors should be punished.

Bishop William Franklin also says the diocese has agreed to immediately forward all future allegations of sexual abuse against priests to local prosecutors for investigation.

The disclosures came as Franklin updated the diocese on the status of sexual abuse allegations dating back to the 1950s as required under a 9 (m) million dollar settlement reached in November with 37 abuse victims.

In all, Franklin says the diocese had received 108 allegations of abuse from 96 people regarding 25 clergy members. He says the vast majority of the abuse involved three former priests _ James Janssen, Francis Bass and William Wiebler _ in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

Posted by kshaw at January 19, 2005 08:47 AM