Abuse victim blasts Catholic officials about pedophile bishop
She wants Vatican to defrock predator who molested dozens of boys
“Show courage & leadership,” SNAP says, “and reach out to others in pain”
Support group believes accused molester may still be criminally prosecuted
At a sidewalk news conference, a clergy molestation victim will prod Catholic officials in Sioux City and elsewhere to
-- apologize and explain why it took so long to deem a pedophile bishop “credibly accused,”
-- write Rome and urge the Vatican to defrock him, and
-- aggressively reach out to others who may have been hurt by any church employees, but especially the retired bishop.
She’ll also call on anyone with any information about the predators’ crimes to come forward, get help and call the police.
Thursday, Nov. 6, 1:15 p.m.
Outside the Sioux City Diocese headquarters, 1821 Jackson Street, in Sioux City
An Iowa child molestation victim who’s a support group leader in SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
Late Tuesday, the Davenport Diocese announced that its abuse panel found retired Sioux City Bishop Lawrence Soens guilty of molesting boys. It is believed to be the first time in church history in the US that a diocesan committee has deemed that a bishop is a child molester.
According to the Des Moines Register, “The review board found Soens guilty of sexually abusing students at Iowa City Regina High School in the 1950s and 1960s, when he was principal. Soens was also found guilty of sexually abusing a male minor when Soens was rector of the St. Ambrose Seminary.”
SNAP believes that Sioux City’s current bishop Walker Nickless should have taken action sooner to resolve the allegations against Soens and reach out to his victims. For children’s safety, the group wants Nickless to immediately write the Vatican and urge that Soens be permanently defrocked.
SNAP also wants Nickless to personally visit parishes across the diocese and beg victims and witnesses to call the police. Because police and prosecutors are becoming more aggressive and creative about pursuing child sex crimes (even from decades ago), SNAP believes that criminal charges against Soens may still be possible.
Founded in 1989, SNAP is the nation’s largest self-help group for clergy molestation victims of all faith groups.
Janet Clark of Fort Dodge, 515-573-4536
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP national director 314 566 9790 cell
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP outreach director 314 862 7688