May 20, 2005

Former vicar asks to be priest again

Des Moines Register

May 20, 2005
The Rev. Drake Shafer, the former vicar general of the Davenport Diocese, wants to work as a priest again after settling a civil lawsuit involving sexual abuse of a teenage boy in the 1970s, said his lawyer.

Shafer was second-in-command in the diocese until he was suspended three years ago when a West Burlington man sued him and the diocese. The diocese settled with the unnamed man last fall and Shafer settled this month, agreeing to pay the man's mental health costs.

In a 2002 e-mail to the man that was made public in a court hearing, Schafer apologized and said the incident was an isolated transgression in his priesthood. He acknowledged getting drunk on the night in question, that he didn't intend to hurt the boy, and that he was himself abused as a child by a priest.

Bishop William E. Franklin has not made a recommendation on Shafer.

Peter Fieweger, Shafer's attorney, said Thursday that he did not think Shafer's settling the lawsuit was an obstacle to resuming his priestly duties.

Posted by kshaw at May 20, 2005 05:56 AM