Thursday, October 12, 2006

Vatican OKs resignation of Iowa bishop

The AP reported today that:

DAVENPORT, Iowa - TheVatican announced the bishop of Davenport's retirement Thursday, two days after the Roman Catholic diocese filed for bankruptcy amid dozens of lawsuits alleging priest sex abuse.

Bishop William Franklin had offered his resignation when he turned 75 in May 2005, as the church requires.

The Vatican said Thursday that his resignation had been approved and that he would be succeeded by Monsignor Martin J. Amos, an auxiliary bishop in Cleveland.

The Diocese of Davenport on Tuesday became the fourth Catholic diocese in the United States to file for bankruptcy amid the national clergy abuse scandal, following the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., and the dioceses of Tucson, Ariz. and Spokane, Wash.

Since 2004, the Diocese of Davenport has paid more than $10.5 million to resolve dozens of claims filed against priests, including a $9 million settlement reached with 37 victims. The lawsuits accused 11 priests of sexually assaulting children since the 1950s and blamed church leaders for covering it up.

The Diocese of Davenport includes 85 parishes and more than 102,000 members.

The cost of the Catholic sex abuse cases nationwide has risen to about $1.5 billion since 1950, according to figures compiled from various studies by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


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