February 24, 2006

Bishop responds to accusations of deceit

Quad-City Times

By Bishop William E. Franklin |

On Feb. 2, I met with people of Concerned Catholics of the Davenport Diocese, Iowa City; Catholics for Spiritual Healing of Grand Mound; and Iowa SNAP, groups representing victims sexually abused by priests. We bishops from three of the four Iowa dioceses and a representative of the fourth bishop met with this group. We met with them at their request and felt the meeting was productive.

Last week in the Quad-City Times, persons from these groups publicly accused me of lying about whether an investigation took place regarding retired Bishop Lawrence Soens who previously served as a priest in the Diocese of Davenport.

I would have no reason to purposely lie about anything much less an investigation in which a report had already been turned over to attorneys. All I can say is that I have not been an active participant in any investigation and had forgotten that it had taken place almost four years ago. If my forgetfulness has offended anyone, I am sorry.

The Diocese of Davenport has received several allegations of sexual abuse against Lawrence Soens stemming from his service as principal of Regina High School from 1959-1967. There has never been a full-scale Canonical investigation performed, nor does the Diocese of Davenport have the right or authority to perform such an investigation. The reports of sexual abuse against Bishop Soens have been sent to the Papal Nunciature to the United States for its recommendations and only the Vatican can take any action against him.

Posted by kshaw at February 24, 2006 10:53 AM