January 20, 2005

Bishop in settlement had served local parish

The Hawk Eye


A retired Catholic bishop accused of child sexual abuse served as a priest in Burlington, but none of the alleged assaults occurred during his time here.

The Diocese of Davenport on Tuesday acknowledged paying $20,000 to settle a claim that former Sioux City Bishop Lawrence Soens abused a child in the early to midľ1960s while serving as a priest in the diocese.

Soens served at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Burlington from 1950 to 1952, his first assignment after ordination. He was made the bishop of Sioux City in 1983 and held the post until retiring in 1998.

He is the first bishop in Iowa publicly accused in the abuse scandal that has attacked the foundation of the Catholic Church nationwide.

The claims against Soens surfaced in a report by Davenport Bishop William Franklin updating the diocese on the status of sexual abuse allegations dating back to the 1950s.

Posted by kshaw at January 20, 2005 11:10 AM