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Davenport Archives:
Documents about Fr. James M. Janssen and His Circle


Fr. James M. Janssen is accused of molesting boys for over forty years in his home diocese of Davenport, Iowa, and also in Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, and California. Davenport bishops and their staff received repeated warnings about Janssen starting in 1948. He is alleged to have shared his victims with other priests, including Fr. Francis E. Bass, who for years was the Director of Vocations for the Davenport diocese, and also served as chaplain of a diocesan college and one of the diocese's deans.

Here we present legal filings with diocesan documents and victim's affidavits from the Wells and John Doe III cases, illustrating the charges against Janssen and showing how the diocese handled those allegations. We also present an analysis by Fr. Thomas Doyle, again with links to the documents.

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for information on the source of these documents, our redaction policy, and other issues. In subsequent postings, we will offer suggestions for exploring the diocesan files. A good beginning would be to read the remarkable affidavits by survivors, starting with those of James Wells and of a survivor now living in Texas. For the diocesan situation, Bishop Hayes's own notes on Janssen's 1958 confession are a good start, together with the documents in our list from the same period. One parish in the diocese has been unusually active in supporting survivors--see our feature on the activist parish of Sts. Philip and James in Grand Mound.


LEGAL DOCUMENTS AND EXHIBITS

Wells v. Janssen and the Diocese of Davenport

* Plaintiff's Statement of Disputed Facts in Resistance to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (with 66 diocesan documents, affidavits, and other materials)

* Plaintiff's Memorandum of Authorities in Support of Resistance to Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment

John Doe v. Janssen, Bass, Geerts, and the Diocese of Davenport

* Plaintiff's Statement of Disputed Facts in Resistance to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (with 69 diocesan documents, affidavits, and other materials)

* Plaintiff's Memorandum of Authorities in Support of Resistance to Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment

John Doe (I-A) v. Janssen and the Diocese of Davenport

* Plaintiff's Motion to Compel and for Sanctions against Defendant Diocese of Davenport (July 19, 2004)

Donald J. Green v. Janssen and the Diocese of Davenport

* Reply to Plaintiffs' Memorandum in Opposition to the Diocese's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (July 30, 2004)


ANALYSIS BY FR. THOMAS DOYLE

The affidavit by Fr. Thomas Doyle is an important analysis of the Davenport situation, its national context, and the Catholic church's policies regarding secrecy in sexual abuse cases. We present it with links to the Davenport and Vatican documents that Doyle cites.


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