Bishop Accountability
  Priests’ Council Issues Public Apology to Abuse Victims

By Kay Luna
Quad-City (IA) Times
January 29, 2004

A council of priests in the Catholic Diocese of Davenport issued a public apology Thursday to the victims of sexual abuse by clergy, calling the abuse a "gigantic betrayal of trust" that causes "unimaginable pain."

Representatives of the Presbyteral Council, made up of more than 25 elected and appointed priests from the diocese that covers eastern Iowa, said they will focus on learning more about how to prevent such "hideous" abuse and strive to promote healing in their parishes.

Their statement comes after watching 11 lawsuits filed against the Davenport diocese in rapid succession since May. The lawsuits accuse certain priests of sexually abusing young children in the church 20-50 years ago.

"On behalf of my clients, we certainly are appreciative of the admission of the betrayal of trust," said Quad-City attorney Craig Levien, who represents alleged victims who have filed lawsuits against the diocese in Scott and Clinton counties. "We look forward to the day the diocese takes responsibility for the abusive priests’ actions."


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