Bishop Accountability
  Statement from (Most Rev.) William E. Franklin,
Bishop of Davenport
for the News Conference at 3pm on October 28, 2004

This has been a tragic time for our Church. It is my prayer that true healing may now begin in the Diocese of Davenport. We have been in mediation with those who have suffered sexual abuse by priests in our Diocese. My heart has been touched with concern and deep sorrow for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We fully realize our responsibility to help heal the hurt of the victims.

It has been my hope and desire as the steward of our Diocese to settle these claims with just and fair compensation for the victims. In that light, I announce that a global settlement has been reached regarding 37 claims against the Diocese of Davenport.

This settlement agreement provides for a $9 million payment from insurance proceeds and diocesan funds. We also agreed on some measures to enhance our efforts to protect our children now and in the future.

The abuse was not the victim's fault. It was only reasonable that a child would trust a revered Catholic priest. Knowing what we know today, I cannot understand, explain or justify the decisions that were made years ago allowing such priests to continue to serve. Prior bishops are no longer living to explain their decisions. All I know for certain is that, in fact, we failed to protect children from harm. I am profoundly sorry and I express deep apology to the victims from the entire Catholic community.

It is my hope that this settlement will help foster healing and forgiveness as well as help us to focus together on preventing this from ever happening again.

I have faith that the light of Christ will lead the way through these dark times. We will move forward to continue our mission essential to our community of faith. We will work to provide spiritual care, to protect the innocent and to advocate for the least among us. I ask God to bless our injured brothers and sisters and pray that our Diocese will walk together in faith.


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