SNAP Group Wants Former Sioux City Bishop Defrocked


November 6, 2008

A former Sioux City Catholic bishop is being accused of sexually molesting boys in eastern Iowa and a victim's group wants the Sioux City Diocese to take action. This comes after a Catholic Church panel in Davenport, Iowa, found some of those allegations credible. Reporter Samantha Suttle brings us the details.

A child molestation victim of a Catholic priest wants to see former Sioux City Bishop Lawrence Soens defrocked.

Janet Clark of the group "Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests," or SNAP, says Soens needs to be permanently removed from the religious state. On Tuesday, the Davenport, Iowa, diocese said there is evidence Soens sexually abused children when he was a priest in Davenport during the 1950's and 60's. Soens later served as bishop in the Sioux City Catholic Diocese for 15 years.

"Soens was here for 15 years and there's no reason to think he stopped when he moved over here. That's just not how it works. They don't stop until someone stops them," says Janet Clark, a SNAP leader.

"No allegations were brought against him while he served as bishop for Sioux City. He did an exemplary job while he served here as our bishop," says Kristie Arlt of the Sioux City Catholic Diocese.

Sioux City diocese officials say the Catholic diocese in Davenport, as well as the Vatican, are handling this issue.


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