February 20, 2005

Church, advocates differ on priest abuse issue


By PAT KINNEY, Assistant City Editor

WATERLOO --- The relative quiet within the Dubuque archdiocese on the clergy sex abuse issue may soon be over, a Dubuque-ordained priest and nationally known advocate for abuse victims suggested in response to three lawsuits filed Friday.

"I think there will be an explosion in Dubuque," said the Rev. Tom Doyle, a Maryland-based canon lawyer and co-author of a groundbreaking 1985 church-commissioned national study on sex abuse in the priesthood.

"I think what will happen is when some cases get some publicity, that will make a change. And it will be difficult for a lot of good Catholic people in Dubuque and many of the priests to think this has happened," he said.

The new lawsuits, all by current and former Waterloo residents, were filed hours after the archdiocese updated Northeast Iowa Catholics on its efforts to help victims and prevent future abuse.

Unless the Dubuque archdiocese is an exception to the rest of the nation and Catholic world, Doyle said, "this has been well-covered up and the lid is being pried off."

Posted by kshaw at February 20, 2005 06:42 AM