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The Exchange,February 27, 2019 SC Diocese Publishes List of "Credibly Accused Priests"

The Exchange 022619

Promo. Coming up this week on The Exchange,

The Catholic Diocese of Sioux City releases a list of priests who were credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. However, some victims of abuse by Catholic priests say it may be too little, too late.

Also, as we celebrate Mardi Gras, a look at the 300-year history of New Orleans. 

That and more coming up on The Exchange, Wednesday at noon and Friday at 9:00 at SPM>

This is The Exchange on SPM; I’m Mary Hartnett.  This week was a major turning point for the Roman Catholic Church as Pope Francis ended a Vatican meeting  on clerical sexual abuse by calling “for an all-out battle against the abuse of minors” and insisting that the church needed to protect children “from ravenous wolves.”

Despite the Pope’s vow “to combat this evil that strikes at the very heart of our mission,” many critics say the speech was short on the sort of detailed battle plan demanded by many Catholics around the world. Pope Francis had barely finished speaking before some abuse victims, and other frustrated faithful began expressing outrage and disappointment at his failure to outline immediate and concrete steps to address the problem. The Diocese of Sioux City named   28 priests who have been “credibly accused of
sexual abuse of minors from 1948 to 1995.   Most of those priests are now deceased. A diocesan board reviewed all allegations of sexual abuse of minors, and Bishop Nicklaus accepted all recommendations.   At a press conference today Bishop R. Walker Nicklaus added that no one on the list was allowed to work with young people and their names have been submitted to the authorities, although they have not necessarily been charged or convicted in a criminal case.    “Accusations of sexual abuse deemed to be within the realm of possibility, the. Most expansive definitions used by any diocese were included. 

Nicklaus said publishing the list is a beginning of a new era in the Diocese of Sioux City.

“We want to . . .”

“. . . NW Iowa.

The list of accused priests included many from the Siouxland area who worked in the Catholic school system over the years.  There were 107 victims of abuse from 1948 to 1995, with an almost equal number of boys and girls involved.  The list could grow and the diocese would like to work with victims to help heal the wounds they have suffered because of the actions of the priests.  

The release follows an investigation by The Associated Press that exposed the diocese's 32-year cover-up of the Rev. Jerome Coyle, who had allegedly confessed to abusing more than 50 boys, however Bishop Nicklaus said the diocese had been working on the list for two years..Storm Lake Police Chief and member of the diocesan review board Mark Prosser said reviewing the cases and decided who was on the list was difficult. Prosser noted that for an allegation to be credible, the commission considered any evidence that was available. 

Including consistency of the details, such as the placement of the accused at the time, and any corroborating evidence.   Also, other corroborating evidence from files or other possible witnesses. 

The Bishop ended the press conference will call out those who have been abused by priests but have yet to come forward.  He said the diocese wanted to usher in a climate of transparency. 

“As leaders in faith.“

“ .  . . 

The press conference stirred some responses from survivors.  The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests responded to the list saying, What ends up being problematic is when lists are released that are incomplete or carefully curated and leave off the names of "extern" priests, nuns, deacons, bishops, or other church staff.  Sometimes, names are left off because they do not meet the diocese’s ever-changing and nebulous definition of “credible.”  And this point about credibility is the focus given the release from Sioux City today.

Bill Le Hay of Des Moines is a member of the Iowa SNAP group. Le Hay says the curated list from the diocese leaves a lot out. 

That was Bill Le Hay; he is a survivor of clergy sexual abuse and a spokesman for the Iowa group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.  He lives in Des Moines.   The Catholic Diocese of Sioux City is holding a special mass for healing and forgiveness Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Epiphany.

You’re listening to The Exchange, on Siouxland public Media, I’m Mary Hartnett.  On Saturday morning, three Siouxland lawmakers met at for a town hall discussion at the Sioux City Public Museum.  There were questions from around 75 attendees about expanded gun laws, restoring rights of felons to vote and entitlement program.    I caught up with Democratic State Senator Jackie Smith and asked her about some of the initiatives that could affect women and children, like food assistance and women’s health.

That was Democratic State Senator Jackie Smith of Sioux City, talking about recent initiatives in the state legislature.  Also in attendance, Sioux City Democratic Representatives Tim Kacena and Chris Hall.

Also, the town hall meeting was Sioux City AIDS Counselor Carter, Smith. Smith asked about the likelihood of a needle exchange program becoming law this year.  I talked with Carter about the law and how it could help reduce the spread of HIV and other diseases in Siouxland.

That was Carter Smith, an HIV caseworker at Siouxland Community Health Center. He is pushing for the passage of a needle exchange bill in the Iowa legislature this year.   Needle exchanges, or professionally referred to as Syringe Service Programs (SSP), provide sterile needles to those who use drugs. Several Democrats and some Republicans in the Iowa legislature have said they want to change Iowa law to decriminalize needles. It's something lawmakers tried to do last year.

INTRO:  Heart disease is the number killer in the United States.  As we wrap up heart month this February Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer reports on how heart disease impacts women even more than men.

TAG:  The bottom line, more women than men die from heart disease.  Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say females are usually diagnosed later than their male counterparts.  They suggest women talk to their family physicians about their risk.  Some other symptoms include jaw, shoulder and arm pain, plus nausea and sweating.

INTRO:  Medicare rule changes could trigger a spike in out-of-pocket drug costs for patients with multiple sclerosis, also known as MS.  That’s according to a new study.

Researchers reported because of rules that restrict access, patients are left to cover more of the cost, and patients without low-income assistance can spend about $7,000 out of pocket for their drug therapies.

One of the top neurologists in the Midwest, Dr. Bruce Hughes weighs in on the issue he says is a problem for patients.  Hughes, who is the Director of the Ruan Multiple Sclerosis Center at MercyOne in Des Moines, recently shared his thoughts with Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer.

You’re listening to The Exchange on SPM; I’m MH.  Next week is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season for Christians, and that means this week is Mardi Gras. And nowhere is Mardi Gras more festive than New Orleans.  People from all over the world flock to the Louisana city to party till all hours.  The city is an old one, 300 years old this year, and journalists and author Jason Berry tells the city’s story in his new book, “City of a Million Dreams: Every Day a Parade.”  Berry is a New Orleans native and says the city has recovered since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2006.  Still, he says the aftermath of the flooding was hard to deal with.

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