Group to Hand out Leaflets at Churches

The Associated Press, carried in Press-Citizen [Iowa City IA]
September 26, 2004

A support group for victims of abuse by Catholic priests plans to hand out leaflets today at Catholic churches in Iowa City.

The northeast Iowa chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said the purpose was to let abuse victims in Iowa City know they are not alone.

"We'd also like to encourage parishioners to reach out in a nurturing and helpful way to abuse survivors," said Steve Theisen, co-founder of the group. "Several are afraid of the response and reaction of the people they go to church with."

The group planned to approach parishioners at St. Patrick, St. Thomas More and St. Wenceslaus churches after Mass.

The churches are locations where the Rev. Paul Deyo had worked.

The Roman Catholic Diocese in Davenport released Deyo's name in August in an attempt to urge anyone who may have been abused to come forward.

A minor has alleged sexual abuse in 1998. Diocese officials said they learned about the allegation a year ago and reported it to the Johnson County Attorney's office.

County Attorney J. Patrick White opened an investigation into the case Sept. 15. No charges have been filed.


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