Diocese of Davenport Response to Iowa Attorney General Report

Diocese of Davenport IA

June 24, 2021

By Deacon David Montgomery, Chancellor, Diocese of Davenport IA

[Click here to see a PDF of this news release.]

From Most Rev. Thomas R. Zinkula, Bishop of Diocese of Davenport:

Two years ago, the Attorney General of Iowa asked the state’s four Catholic dioceses to submit documents related to clergy sexual abuse. In the interest of transparency and accountability, each diocese complied with the Attorney General’s request.

I apologize for abuse by clergy that occurred in the past. In 2002, the bishops of the United States made significant and sweeping changes to the Church’s role in protecting children and vulnerable adults. As a result, we respond promptly and compassionately to victims, report the alleged abuse of minors to civil authorities, remove offenders following a review of allegations by lay experts in relevant fields, and submit to third-party annual audits.

Since 2003, the Diocese of Davenport has provided ongoing safe environment training sessions for adults and children. We also have complete background checks on Church employees and volunteers working with children, which are renewed every five years.

These efforts have helped. The Diocese of Davenport has not received a founded report of child sexual abuse that occurred in the past 33 years. Nevertheless, our Church and society need to continue to be vigilant in providing safe environments for children to thrive and grow.

The hotline provided by the Attorney General for reporting sexual abuse will assist victims of abuse. It will supplement the Diocese’s long-standing policy of reporting allegations of sexual abuse to the Scott County Attorney and to the Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese.

Our efforts are inspired by the teachings of Jesus and his Church: that it is right and good to respond to the sin and crime of clergy sexual abuse with sorrow, repentance, amendment of life, justice, and efforts to repair the harm done. We appreciate the Attorney General’s respective concern for victims of sexual abuse, and for offering us an opportunity to highlight the work we have done for the protection of children.

To report child sexual abuse

  • Call the Iowa Attorney General Clergy Abuse hotline at 855-620-7000 to speak with an advocate.
  • Contact the Iowa Department of Human Services Child Abuse Hotline: 800-362-2178
  • If the abuse involves clergy or church personnel, also notify Alicia Owens, LBSW, Victim Assistance Coordinator, 563-349-5002 | P.O. Box 232 Bettendorf, IA 52722-0004 | vacdav@diodav.org