Three added to list of abusers

By Barb Arland-Fye
Catholic Messenger
May 22, 2009

Two deceased priests and one layman have been added to the Diocese of Davenport’s list of those credibly accused of sexually abusing minors. They are: Daniel Emrich of the Franciscan Brothers of Christ the King, which has not operated in the diocese for years, and the late Fathers William Kerrigan and James Lawrence. Fr. Kerrigan died in 1988 and Fr. Lawrence in 2008.

Altogether, 31 names are on the list of credibly accused abusers with no additional cases pending before the Diocesan Review Board, Deacon David Montgomery, the diocese’s communications director, said May 21.

The revised list has been posted on the diocese’s Web site at

Emrich was accused of abusing one male minor, with the earliest abuse claim dating back to 1981, according to diocesan records. The diocese had no additional information about Emrich or his whereabouts.

Fr. Kerrigan, ordained in 1941, was accused of abusing a minor female, with the earliest claim of abuse dating back to 1954. Fr. Kerrigan served at St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Ottumwa in 1941. He served on the faculty of St. Ambrose Academy in Davenport until 1949, then on the faculty of Ottumwa Heights in Ottumwa until 1955. He also served as an administrator of St. Mary Parish in Eddyville from 1953-55. He was laicized in 1975. The two schools and the parish he served have long since closed.

Fr. Lawrence, ordained in 1961, was accused of abusing a female minor. The earliest claim of abuse was in the 1960s, diocesan records show.

Fr. Lawrence served at St. Thomas More Parish in Iowa City in 1961; St. Anthony Parish in Knoxville from 1961-1966; St. Mary Parish in Eddyville from 1971-1972; Sacred Heart Parish in Fort Madison, 1972-73; St. Irenaeus Parish in Clinton, 1973-1984; St. Mary Parish, Bryant, 1979-1983; St. Mary Parish in Oxford, 1984-1987; St. Mary Parish in Davenport, 1987-1993 and St. Joseph Parish in Davenport, 1987-1995. Fr. Lawrence retired in 1975.

As part of its bankruptcy settlement last year with victims of clergy sexual abuse, the Diocese of Davenport was required to post on its Web site a prominent link on the home page to the names of all credibly accused perpetrators, including those who are deceased.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa instructed the diocese to provide information on its list of abusers about parish assignments, but not assignments outside of parish ministry.


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