SIOUX CITY (IA)
Sioux City Journal
Dec. 26, 2019
By Dave Dreeszen
For the first time in its history, the Diocese of Sioux City this year released a list of priests credibly accused of sexually abusing more than 100 children while serving the Northwest Iowa diocese.
Facing repeated calls from victims and advocacy groups to do so, diocese leaders said the disclosure aimed to “shine a light” on its own “shameful history.”
“For some, today’s release will be an important milestone in our healing,” Bishop R. Walker Nickless said at a Feb. 25 news conference. “For others, it will reopen deep wounds, reviving their disturbing memories or those of their loved ones.
“However, I believe the Lord compels us to shine a light on this subject so we can together heal and send a clear message to victims: We believe you, we care about you.”
For months, a Diocesan Review Board and the diocese’s law firm reviewed priest files dating to the diocese’s founding in 1902. The first accusation deemed credible occurred in 1948, and the most recent in 1995, said Review Board member Mark Prosser.
Nickless noted none of the 28 credibly accused priests currently serve in the ministry or are active with youth. At the time of the list’s release, all but six were deceased, and the survivors have been stripped of their ability to give communion, celebrate Mass or represent themselves as priests, the bishop said.
Those credibly accused represent 5 percent of the estimated 515 priests who have served the diocese since it was established.
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