Bishop Accountability
  New Lawsuit Filed against Davenport Diocese

By Todd Ruger
Quad-City (IA) Times
January 27, 2004

A new lawsuit filed against the Catholic Diocese of Davenport includes allegations that church officials continue to support a retired priest even though the diocese has received complaints about him committing sexual abuse of boys for more than 50 years.

A man identified only as "John Doe VI" also claims that the diocese admitted a four-month leave of absence by the Rev. James Janssen in 1953 "could be interpreted" to show it was a result of complaints about Janssen’s inappropriate sexual contact with adolescents.

The lawsuit, filed Monday by an adult male alleging sexual abuse by Janssen in a Fort Madison, Iowa, parish beginning in 1961, is the fifth of its kind to be filed in Scott County District Court and joins four similar lawsuits filed in Clinton County and two filed in Lee County alleging sexual abuse by priests.

A news release issued Tuesday afternoon by the diocese says many of the allegations in the petition are false, incorrect and stated "in a sensational manner, apparently calculated to generate publicity."


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