IA--Victims urge outreach in accused priest case
For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 5, 2016
A trial has ended and a judge is pondering the fate of an accused sex offender priest. Now is not the time for complacency. We beg Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates, his staff, and all church staff and parishioners to aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Fr. Paul Monahan – or might have information disproving the allegations, who worked at seven locations throughout the state.
Now more than ever, it’s crucial that those who may have seen, suspected or suffered any of this cleric’s crimes or misdeeds come forward to police.
It’s very hard to believe that all five of these kids, with no apparent motive, would make up serious allegations against any adult, much less a powerful and popular and well-educated one like a priest.
We are disappointed that Fr. Monahan’s friends rallied to his defense Wednesday during a trial stemming from allegations that he looked at several boys’ genitals in a bathroom.
We applaud Assistant Iowa Attorney General Doug Hammerand for bringing this case to trial and the brave boys who testified. We are highly skeptical of the defendant’s medical claims, in part because we’ve seen hundreds of proven, admitted and accused predator priest’s try to dodge blame by citing alleged health conditions that supposedly played a role in their crimes (addictions, dementia, back pain requiring massages, etc.)
No matter what courts or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in churches, schools or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
According to the diocese, Fr. Monahan worked at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines and St. Albert High School in Council Bluffs. He worked at the following parishes: St. Columbanus in Weston, St. Mary in Avoca, St. Patrick in Walnut, Holy Family in Council Bluffs, St. Mary in Portsmouth and Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Glenwood. http://www.dmdiocese.org/news.cfm
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy
abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Friends defend retired Council Bluffs priest accused of eyeing teens' genitals
By Mike Bell / World-Herald News Service
COUNCIL BLUFFS — Friends and colleagues of the Rev. Paul Monahan came to his defense Wednesday during a trial stemming from allegations that he looked at several teens’ genitalia while using the restroom during a track meet in Treynor, Iowa.
Monahan, 83, is a retired Council Bluffs priest and former principal at St. Albert Catholic School. He faces five counts of invasion of privacy.
District Associate Judge Gary Anderson of Pottawattamie County will decide if . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.