Archbishop reports on meeting with Iowa attorney general

Discussed clergy sexual abuse issues

In the interest of being transparent, and to keep everyone informed about matters related to clergy sexual abuse, I want to communicate the following:

On 5 December 2018 I met with the Iowa Attorney General in his Des Moines office.

Back in October, the Catholic bishops in Iowa agreed to take the initiative of asking for a meeting with the Attorney General to talk about issues related to clergy sexual abuse.

The director of the Iowa Catholic Conference made the request on our behalf, and the Attorney General accepted our request and scheduled the meetings.

The bishops wanted to open lines of communication with the Attorney General’s office.

We also wanted to give assurances of what we have been doing, are doing, and will continue to do until Jesus comes again, in response to clergy sexual abuse.

The Attorney General had questions about how we handle accusations and lawsuits, and if we are observing the DOJ request that all US bishops preserve documents.

He commended the practice of publishing the names of credibly accused clergy. He also hinted that his office needed to do something to prevent harm and promote healing.

I explained what we have been doing, and for how long, to protect children and young people, promote healing, and restore trust in the Church.

Finally, I left documentation containing information about our policies, background checks, safe environment training, Charter compliance audits, and the Review Board make-up.