March 01, 2005

Archbishop sends seven priest abuse cases to Rome


By PAT KINNEY, Assistant City Editor

WATERLOO --- Seven Catholic priests who allegedly sexually abused minors within the Archdiocese of Dubuque apparently have been referred to the Vatican for possible action, including defrocking, Dubuque Archbishop Jerome Hanus told the Courier last week.

Hanus would not identify the priests. But the seven cases are equal to the number of living archdiocesan priests against whom credible accusations of sexual abuse have been made.

In a December 2003 report, Hanus said 18 of the 26 archdiocesan priests accused of sexual abuse since 1950 have died. One of the remaining eight, Robert Reiss, was defrocked in 1997. He died in Mexico Feb. 3, the archdiocese reported last week.

None of the seven can represent themselves in public as a priest, Hanus said.

The Vatican may defrock priests --- dismissing them from the priesthood --- or concur with penalties imposed to date.

Posted by kshaw at March 1, 2005 02:48 PM