Archdiocese of Dubuque Gives $4.7 Million to Abuse Victims

By Katie Wiedemann
April 10, 2008

Dubuque - In this latest settlement nine priests have been accused of sexually abusing children.

Seven of those priests have already been publicly named in prior law-suits.

But now, two more priests are being named for the first time.

Father John Reed and Reverend Louis Wendling, were both priests in the Dubuque area in the 1960's.

Both are now dead.

Father Reed was a priest at St. Mary's church in Dubuque from 1960 to 1963.

His name will be added to the Archdiocese's table of accused priests.

However, The Archdiocesan Review Board decided the allegations against Father Wendling had not been substantiated.

The archdiocese will pay the law firm that represents the victims 4.7 million dollars.

After legal costs, each victim will get about 260-thousand dollars.

Steve Theisen said, "There is no amount of money that can make up for the crimes that were committed against us."

Theisen is all too familiar with sexual abuse.

He says he was abused by a nun when he was a child and understands the victim's pain.

During past settlement announcements church leaders held a news conference to discuss the settlement and issue a public apology.

A spokesperson for the archdiocese says they chose not to talk on camera this time out of respect for the victims.

But Theisen says public awareness is exactly what helps victims heal.

Theisen, "The more you talk about it the stronger the victims become. It wasn't our fault, it was the archdiocese fault."

Archbishop Jerome Hanus did e-mail TV-9 this public apology.

He said, "I make this apology to all persons who as minors suffered sexual abuse by priests in past years. In a special way I apologize to those who participated in the recent settlement."


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