February 21, 2006

Iowa bishops won't grant groups' request to punish Soens


DES MOINES, Iowa Advocates for sexual abuse victims must wait longer to see any punishment for a retired Sioux City bishop accused of sexually molesting boys.

The bishops of Iowa's four dioceses met today with advocacy groups who had requested discipline for Lawrence Soens. In a statement issued afterward, the bishops said they will not address the request as a group, but each diocese is willing to meet individually with the advocates.

The bishops also reminded the advocates that allegations against Soens have been forwarded to the pope's representative in the United States. They say only the Vatican can sanction Soens.

Ann Green represents the Catholics for Spiritual Healing of Grand Mound. She says the bishops did not want to operate as a group because they felt they may expose themselves to liability if they comment on a priest in another diocese.

Posted by kshaw at February 21, 2006 07:50 AM