Sunday, September 18, 2016

More abuse allegations surface after Iowa bishop reaches out

More abuse allegations surface after Iowa bishop reaches outFive more people are alleging sexual abuse decades ago by a now-deceased priest, according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sioux City.
The diocese also confirmed Wednesday that it has reached a settlement with the man who first came forward with allegations against Father Peter Murphy, who served in several northwest Iowa parishes from the 1950s through the 1970s.

Spokeswoman Kristie Arlt told the Sioux City Journal that Bishop Walker Nickless is reaching out to the people who have contacted the diocese since June, when the diocesan newspaper asked readers for information about sexual misconduct by Murphy.

The priest died in 1980.

Arlt declined to say how much the settlement with the man is costing the diocese.

“The bishop’s main goal, and our advisory board’s main goal, is to provide healing where we can,” Arlt said. “That’s the main purpose, to be sensitive to these victims and hopefully help them with their healing journey.”

Allegations originally surfaced in 1996 when the man, now 69, wrote to Blessed Sacrament Parish in Sioux City about sexual abuse by Murphy when he was a 12-year-old altar boy. 

The man said he received a dismissive reply to that letter but that he met this year with the bishop. 

He asked that Murphy’s name be published along with the names of other priests accused of sexual abuse.

Arlt said the diocese’s review board is exploring the possibility of releasing the names of those priests who have been credibly accused.

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