February 03, 2006

Iowa bishops meet with abuse victim advocates

Sioux City Journal

By Charlotte Eby Journal Des Moines Bureau

DES MOINES -- Advocates for victims who have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy members met with Iowa bishops Thursday, asking them to prevent a retired Sioux City bishop accused of sex abuse from participating in church activities.

Former Sioux City Bishop Lawrence Soens is being sued for alleged sexual abuse, and the groups don't want him around children.

Ann Green of DeWitt said although Soens retired in 1998, he is still operating in an official capacity by celebrating masses in Iowa.

Green is a member of Catholics for Spiritual Healing in Grand Mound, one of three victims' groups that met with Iowa's bishops in Des Moines Thursday in a session they believe is a first of its kind in the country.

Green said it is difficult to determine how bishops are disciplined because they are supervised directly by the pope.

Posted by kshaw at February 3, 2006 08:28 AM