Rev. Martin J. Diamond

Summary of Case: A lawsuit filed in January 2003 accuses Diamond, ordained in 1930, of abusing a boy between age 8 and 11 at St. Peter's in Keokuk, now part of All Saints parish. Diamond was pastor of St. Peter's for 15 years, his second stint at the parish. He also worked at 6 other parishes (5 as pastor), and early in his career (after 2 years at St. Peter's and at St. Mary's at Montrose), he was a hospital chaplain and a chaplain in the army during World War II. Diamond died in 1989, and the suit against him was dismissed for this reason. The suit against the diocese was also dismissed by Lee County District Court Judge John Linn, on the grounds that “the plaintiff has presented no evidence raising a material question of fact as to whether the defendants knew or should have known of any sexual misconduct or tendencies to abuse children on the part of Father Diamond.” Note that these dismissals are not exonorations.

: 1930
Incardinated: Davenport IA
Retired: 1978
Died: 6/11/89


Start Stop Parish Town State Position Notes
1930 1932 St. Peter's

Keokuk IA Assistant, 2/2. Pastor was Rt. Rev Msgr. James W. Gillespie. Pupils in the grade and high schools numbered 299 in 1930-31.
1930 1932 St. Mary's Montrose IA   Mission attended from St. Peter's in Keokuk.
1932 1938 Mercy Hospital, St. Joseph's Sanitarium for Insane Weak Minded, and Nurses' Training School Iowa City IA Chaplain. Sr. Mary Clare Supr., then Sr. Mary Rose. Conducted by the Sisters of Mercy, Chicago Province. Mercy Hospital had 1,280 patients listed in the 1936 Official Catholic Directory and 1,565 in the 1938 Directory. St. Joseph's Sanitarium is listed only in the 1933 Directory.
1932 1938 State Hospitals and Oakdale Sanitarium

Iowa City IA Chaplain Attended from Mercy Hospital
1938 1941 St. Bridget's

Nolan Settlement IA Pastor, 1/1.  
1938 1941 St. Mary's Morse IA Pastor, 1/1. Attended from St. Bridget's in Nolan Settlement.
1941 1942 St. Mary's Solon IA Pastor, 1/1.  
1941 1942 Sts. Peter and Paul Solon IA Pastor, 1/1. Attended from St. Mary's in Solon.
1942 1946 U.S. Army Reserve     Chaplain on Active Duty Diamond began as a 1st Lieut., and made Capt. in 1944.
1946 1948 St. Joseph's Mercy Hospital Clinton   Chaplain. Sr. M. Mary Gerard, Supr. Conducted by the Sisters of Mercy, Detroit Province. In the 1947 OCD, 2,832 patients are listed, and in the 1948 OCD, 4,141 patients.
1948 1949 Mt. Alverno Home for the Aged

Clinton IA Chaplain. Sr. Mary Ruth, Supr. 32 boarders.
1949 1963 St. Elizabeth's

Harper IA Pastor, 1/1. In 1949-50, there were 82 children in the grammar school and 33 in the high school. In 1962-63, 107 and 56.
1963 1978 St. Peter's


In January 2003, a man filed suit claiming that he was abused by Diamond in 1967-70, when the boy was 8-11 years old. See 1, 2. These were the years that Rev. Leo J. Feeney was Diamond's assistant. Feeney would later become vice chancellor (1975-81) and chancellor (1981-2000).
IA Pastor, 1/2, then 1/1 in 1974. Other priest was Rev. Thomas F. Stratman, replaced by Leo J. Feeney in 1967, replaced in turn by Rev. George W. McDaniel in 1970. In 1973, Rev. Maynard J. Brothersen became co-pastor with Diamond, but left in 1975. St. Vincent's Grade School had 280 students in the 1964 Official Catholic Directory, and 213 in the 1978 Directory.
1978 1989 St. Vincent Center Davenport IA Retired.  
1989 6/11/89 Kahl Home Davenport IA   Diamond died on 6/11/89.

: Diamond is identified as an accused priest in Bishop William E. Franklin, "A Historical Accounting of Clergy Sexual Abuse of Minors and Action Taken Regarding Certain Priests" (Davenport, Iowa: Diocese of Davenport, February 25, 2004), p. 3, but his assignment record is not provided. We have reconstructed Diamond's assignments from the Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy and Sons, 1931-1990).

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Diamond's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with the one known allegation against Diamond as it is reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, which was made long after Diamond's death. We remind our readers that in the U.S. judicial system, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty.

A Note on Nomenclature: We use the term "assignment record," instead of the more common "service record," because "service" is not an appropriate word for the activities of an abusive priest. Dioceses are often less than forthcoming about the activities of retired priests, but when we can determine those activities, we list them in these assignment records, particularly if they involve ministry. Retired priests remain under obedience to their bishop, and even the activities of laicized priests should be a concern to the diocese.

This assignment record was last updated on 10/27/04.