January 04, 2006

Victims urge Iowa bishops to sanction alleged abuser

Des Moines Register


January 4, 2006

A half-dozen clergy sexual-abuse survivors and family members demonstrated outside the Des Moines Diocese headquarters Tuesday, asking that a retired Sioux City bishop be sanctioned by other Iowa bishops.

Carrying signs asking, "Why the double standards for bishops?," the group is asking that action be taken against Bishop Lawrence Soens. The group had staged similar "sidewalk press conferences" in two other Iowa Catholic dioceses last month.

Soens "remains a cleric in good standing despite the fact that there have been 10 claims of child sexual abuse filed against him in the Davenport Diocese," said Steve Theisen, Iowa director of the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests.

Soens, who retired in 1998, has denied the allegations, which stem from a period when he was a priest in the Davenport Diocese.

Posted by kshaw at January 4, 2006 07:34 AM