IA--Predator priest “outed” for first time
He worked at three Iowa Catholic parishes
He’s a “credibly accused child molester,” church admits
Long secret records about him were just released last week
More hidden documents will be disclosed in the months ahead
A Catholic priest who worked in the Des Moines Catholic diocese has been publicly identified for the first time as a “credibly accused” child molester and a victims group wants local church officials to “aggressively seek out and help” others who may have been hurt by him.
He is Fr. Paul Kabat. According to the Official Catholic Directory, he worked in three Iowa towns: Milo (from 1995 to 1998), Council Bluffs (1992 to 1995) and Logan (from 1985 to 1992).
“It’s very likely others who were hurt by Fr. Kabat are still suffering in shame, silence and self-blame,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis. He heads an international support group called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “Des Moines clerics and lay Catholics should do everything possible to find and console these wounded victims.”
Fr. Kabat is now deceased.
Earlmier this week, leaders of a SNAP and a Catholic reform group called Faithful of Southern Illinois (FOSIL) held a news conference in Belleville IL to draw attention to the disclosure of seven predator priests. Fr. Kabat and each of the other six priests who were “outed” as predators belongs or belonged to a Belleville-based Catholic religious order called the Oblates. (1-888-330-6264, firstname.lastname@example.org).
The two groups are also
-- prodding anyone who was hurt by the priests to speak up and get help, and
-- prodding Catholic officials in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois to “come clean” with more information about the priests and aggressively seek out their victims.
“Over the years, these predators had easy access to literally thousands of girls and boys in Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and elsewhere,” said Barbara Dorris, outreach director for SNAP. “There could be dozens of adults mired in pain, in Mansfield, Gainesville and elsewhere, because of their crimes. Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates, Springfield Bishop James Johnston, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson and Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton should use parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements” to aggressively seek out and offer help to these wounded victims.”
“Admitting a priest is an abuser isn’t enough,” said Steve Theisen of Hudson. He’s SNAP’s Iowa director. “Searching out those whom he injured is what must happen now.”
Records about seven predator priests are being released as part of a lawsuit settlement.
More details about each of the predators and their specific work histories is available at AndersonAdvocates.com.
The records release is part of a settlement in a civil lawsuit brought in Minnesota against the Oblates by a man who reports having been molested by Fr. Fitzgerald. The settlement involved only the Oblates, so the case against the dioceses of Duluth and New Ulm (where the seven also worked) continues and more long-hidden church records will be divulged in the months ahead.
The attorneys who represent the victim in this case are Jeff Anderson 651 227 9990, 612 817 8665 cell) and Mike Finnegan (651 227 9990). They have also handled clergy sex cases in Illinois and Missouri.
Fr. Kabat also worked in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Illinois. He was ordained in Mississippi in 1958 as an Oblate and in 1985 as a diocesan priest.