Two Local Iowa Priests Removed from Ministry
By Shellie Nelson
April 22, 2013
Priests serving in Iowa communities of Davenport and Clinton have been suspended from ministry amid allegations that they had inappropriate contact with children.
Father Robert Harness, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in Davenport, is accused of inappropriately touching a minor in approximately 1990.
“The Diocese has reported this to the Scott County Attorney in compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the diocese and the County Attorney,” said a statement from Deacon David Montgomery, Director of Communication for the Diocese of Davenport.
Father Harness has been “temporarily removed from ministry” while the matter is investigated.
Father Harness began his service at St. Mary’s in Clinton, Iowa and served in various positions in more than a dozen communities in Iowa.
Diocese records show he was pastor at St. Mary’s in Keota, Sts. Peter and Paul in Clear Creek and St. Elizabeth in Harper at the approximate time the alleged inappropriate contact happened. He became pastor at Holy family in Davenport in July 2009.
Father John Stack also faces accusations that he inappropriately touched minors in approximately the 1980s. Father Stack, who was the current chaplain at Mercy Medical Center in Clinton, was temporarily removed from ministry while the matter is investigated.
Diocese records show Father Stack was parochial vicar at Holy Family in Davenport in the late 1980s.
“We apologize, again, for all those who have been abused and continue to pray for them,” Deacon Montgomery said.