Globe covered clergy sex abuse through years

By RENEE WEBB
rwebb@catholicglobe.org

From the time that the sex abuse scandal broke in 2002, The Catholic Globe has published numerous stories. Here is a recap of some of the reports:

June 27, 2002 – A statement from Bishop Daniel DiNardo expresses sadness over allegations concerning Father George McFadden. The first report of misconduct concerning McFadden came in 1991 and the first indication of abuse at St. Francis in Sioux City was brought to the diocese in 2001.

Oct. 19, 2003 – In documents filed in Woodbury County District Court, Dale Frank and Keith Frank filed suit against the Diocese of Sioux City and McFadden and, in Keith Frank’s case, Catholic Charities. The diocese responded, “As to claims that the Diocese of Sioux City transferred Rev. George McFadden following allegations of abuse, we reiterate that the first complaint received against him was made in 1991. When that complaint was received, he was sent to treatment and required to retire.”

  Jan. 8, 2004 – In a multi-page report relating to updates with creating a safe environment in the Diocese of Sioux City and updates on clerical abuse, Bishop Daniel DiNardo pointed out 4,000 people had gone through VIRTUS training in the diocese. The story also noted the Diocese of Sioux City had received 33 allegations of sexual abuse of a minor against 10 priests of the diocese during the past 53 years. None of the priests involved in any of these allegations remain in public ministry. Of the 10 priests identified, six have died, one has left the priesthood, one is living in a supervised setting and two have had their priestly duties suspended with the potential of further canonical penalties.

  July 15, 2004 – Father Bruce LeFebvre, a priest of the Diocese of Sioux City, was accused of disseminating obscene images in a public Emmetsburg health club in 2002. He plead guilty on June 29, 2004, to the charge of Disseminating Obscenity to Minors which was a serious misdemeanor. When the diocese was informed of these accusations in 2002, the priest was suspended and sent to treatment for sexual offenders.

        Sept. 2, 2004 – Allegations of abuse were made against Father Paul Deyo, a priest of the Diocese of Davenport, who served at Bishop Heelan High School in Sioux City, 2000 to 2003.

     Jan. 20, 2005 – The Davenport Diocese released an abuse report including information about Bishop Lawrence D. Soens and Father Deyo. The article also noted that on Oct. 20, 2004, the Davenport Diocese settled one claim against Bishop Soens for $20,000. Father Deyo requested voluntary laicization and that request was sent to the Vatican.

Feb. 24, 2005 – A story outlined 2004 activities of the review board, noting the board had met on 10 occasions to consider 25 new allegations against four priests. Of the allegations made in 2004, 22 involved McFadden and two involved priests who are deceased.

June 16, 2005 – An article announced that retired Bishop Soens was being sued by a Florida man who claimed the clergyman sexually abused him 42 years ago at Regina High School in Iowa City.

     Dec. 22, 2005 – The Diocese of Sioux City received notification from the Vatican concerning the status of McFadden as a priest. Under terms of the decree from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the 80-year-old priest has received the penalty of living the remainder of his life in prayer and penance.

March 30, 2006 – During the calendar year of 2005, it was reported that one new lawsuit was filed against the Diocese of Sioux City and McFadden. That year, 19 claims were settled with all but one involving McFadden. The total expended on settlements was $1,835,000. Insurance paid 69 percent of costs with the diocesan share of $457,500 and McFadden paying $96,250.

        Feb. 22, 2007 – A story recapped 2006 abuse statistics in the Diocese of Sioux City, noting that during that year, three new allegations were made. One involved McFadden, one involved a deceased priest and the remaining one involved a retired priest. Four new lawsuits were filed that year, all involving McFadden and five claims were settled. The total expended on the settlements in 2006 was $725,000 with insurance covering $500,000, the diocesan share was $175,000 and McFadden covered $50,000.

April 10, 2008 – Two lawsuits were filed against the Diocese of Sioux City alleging abuse by Father John Kurzak and John Perdue. Father Kurzak was ordained in 1975 and became a military chaplain in 1981. He has been stationed outside the diocese since that time. Perdue was ordained in 1985. He served one year as an assistant pastor and was granted a leave of absence in 1986.

June 26, 2014 – In a story about recapping activities of the Diocesan Review Board, it stated there have been about 60 abuse claims with the largest number – 33 – presented in 2004. Of the 2004 allegations, 22 involved McFadden, covering the period of 1963-72. Total settlements were between $3 and $4 million and the diocese paid about $1 million of that.

         June 6, 2016 – The Diocese of Sioux City received information that Father Peter B. Murphy committed sexually abusive acts again a minor in 1960 while a temporary assistant at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Sioux City. The priest also served in Danbury, Emmetsburg, Fort Dodge, Whittemore, Bode, Denison and Spencer. The article requested people come forward if they were a victim or know of victims.

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