Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi reader, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Iowa bishops to cooperate with attorney general's request for abuse records

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

6/6/2019 (4 months ago)
Catholic Online (

The Catholic bishops of Iowa have agreed to voluntarily hand over records on clerical sex abuse allegations in their dioceses, responding to a request made last week by the state attorney general.


Catholic Online (
6/6/2019 (4 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Iowa bishops, attorney general's, abuse records

Des Moines, Iowa, (CNA) - "Our compliance is inspired by the teachings of Jesus and his Catholic Church: that it is right and good to respond to the sin and crime of clergy sexual abuse with sorrow, repentance, amendment of life, and efforts to repair the harm done," the bishops said in a June 3 statement.

"In this regard, if there have been failures in the past, it is not for lack of trying. And after discovering when and where our efforts have fallen short, we will try again; there is no perfection this side of heaven."

On May 31, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller sent a letter to the four dioceses of the state, saying that he was planning a third-party review of their sex abuse records, in the interest of transparency and healing for victims.

He asked the dioceses to submit their records regarding abuse allegations by Aug. 1.

The dioceses were asked to turn over all documentation of abuse reports that they had received. They were asked for a list of all clergy who have been credibly accused, as well as accusations which the dioceses have deemed "not credible."

In addition, the attorney general requested records of meetings held to evaluate reports of clerical misconduct or abuse; copies of settlement agreements entered into by dioceses with abuse victims; and the definitions of "sexual misconduct," "sexual abuse," and "credibly accused" used by the dioceses in evaluating accusations.

Miller said he has heard from victims of clerical sex abuse whose stories have not been made public. He said transparency is essential for healing, and encouraged other individuals with information on abuse to call his office.

In a response published by the Iowa Catholic Conference, the bishops said they would comply. The statement was sent on behalf of Archbishop Michael Jackels of Dubuque, Bishop R. Walker Nickless of Sioux City, Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, and Bishop Thomas Zinkula of Davenport.

"Each diocese, in the interest of transparency and accountability, plans to comply with the Attorney General's request," read the statement.

The bishops' statement noted that most of this information is already available to the public. It added that the diocese has for years undertaken an annual third-party review.

The bishops called on Miller to fight sex abuse in society more broadly.

"It is our hope that the Attorney General will use the resources of his office to protect minors from the scourge of sexual abuse wherever it occurs, and not limit his focus just on the Catholic Church," they said.


More U.S.

Remembering St. John Paul II and His Prophetic Warning to the U.S. Watch

Image of Deacon Keith Fournier standing under the beautiful bronze statue of John Paul II in Denver, Colorado.

In an address given during that 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebration of the signing of the ... continue reading

DNA test could reveal if Catholic supply store killer was involved in 1985 murder Watch

Image of

Last year, Thomas Bruce was accused of assaulting three women and killing one of them at the Catholic Supply of St. Louis retail store Nov. ... continue reading

New hotline connects women in crisis pregnancies to resources, community Watch

Image of Pregnant woman looking at ultrasound

When Pamela Whitehead takes a call for LoveLine, a new pregnancy helpline, she listens. Austin, Texas, (CNA) - When Pamela Whitehead takes ... continue reading

In face of California fire, LA archdiocese expands fund for victims Watch

Image of Saddleridge Fire Los Angeles County

As a large fire continues to burn in southern California, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has expanded one of its support funds for the ... continue reading

New York will get statue of Mother Cabrini Watch

Image of

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the state will erect a statue of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. New York City, N.Y., (CNA) - New ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.