May 20, 2005

Bishop Franklin, 75, announces he will step down

Quad-City Times

By Deirdre Cox Baker

Bishop William Franklin of the Diocese of Davenport has announced he will resign after 11 years as the leader of Roman Catholics in eastern Iowa.

Franklin celebrated his 75th birthday early this month and submitted his resignation as required to Pope Benedict XVI. He will continue in his current role until a successor is appointed and said he plans to remain in Davenport. ...

In recent years, his tenure has been clouded by allegations of child sexual abuse committed by Davenport Diocese priests, with many of the cases dating as far back as 1950.

On Ash Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2004, he issued a report showing that 65 allegations had been made against 20 priests from the diocese between 1950 and 2002.

The diocese sent requests to the Vatican in June to defrock five priests, and Pope John Paul II removed one of them, James Janssen of Davenport, July 28. The other four requests are still pending.

In October, the diocese paid $9 million to settle 37 civil claims of sexual abuse by priests.

Posted by kshaw at May 20, 2005 06:09 AM