AP Report: Church Covered Up Sex Abuse Of Dozens Of Iowa Boys
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — A Roman Catholic diocese has hidden for decades a priest's admission that he sexually abused dozens of Iowa boys, a silence that may have put other children in danger, The Associated Press has learned. The Rev. Jerome Coyle, 85, was stripped of his parish assignments in the 1980s but has never been defrocked or publicly identified by the church as a pedophile, even though the Diocese of Sioux City has been aware of his conduct for 32 years.
With diocese assistance, Coyle recently moved into a retirement home in Fort Dodge, Iowa, across the street from a Catholic school attended by hundreds of students.
In 1986, Coyle reported his "history of sexual attraction to and contact with boys" to Sioux City's bishop, revealing that he had victimized 50 youngsters over a 20-year period while serving in several Iowa parishes, according to a private letter written in February by the diocese vicar general and obtained by the AP.
After Coyle's admission, the diocese said without explanation that he was taking a six-month medical leave of absence. Church officials transferred him to a treatment center in New Mexico, the Servants of the Paraclete, where other accused priests nationwide were once commonly sent.
He was stripped of his ability to lead Mass and other responsibilit...