Group Criticizes Church for Failure to Keep Priest in Treatment

Associated Press, carried by WQAD
September 21, 2004

Davenport, Iowa (AP) -- A victims' advocacy group is charging that the Davenport Roman Catholic Diocese is failing in its responsibility after a 72-year-old priest left a pedophile treatment center and moved near an elementary school in St. Louis.

David Clohessy, executive director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says research has proven that a pedophile rarely stops molesting.

The Rev. William Wiebler, who has been named in four lawsuits as a Davenport diocese priest who molested boys in the 1970s and 1980s, left a St. Louis-area Catholic treatment center in May and is reported to be living in an apartment complex about a block away from an elementary school.

Wiebler is one of five priests that Bishop William Franklin has recommended be permanently removed from the priesthood because of credible sexual abuse allegations against them.

Rob McMonagle, an attorney for the Davenport diocese, said Bishop Franklin's options in disciplining Wiebler are limited. He says this is a free country and Wiebler is a free man, not subject to any criminal sanctions.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.