Bishop holds public conversation over Catholic abuse concerns

Local News

Another wave of sexual allegations against the Catholic Church, most recently in Wayne, as a former priest of St. Mary Parish there is removed from public ministry.

In Sioux City, Bishop R. Walker Nickless is having the difficult conversations with parishioners in his diocese.

“We want this to be clear and open and, as much as I don’t like the word sometimes, transparent as we can possibly be,” Nickless said.

That’s the purpose behind Tuesday’s meeting at St. Michael Catholic Church. First prayer, then time for questions. Many parishioners asked about the future. The Bishop says there needs to be criminal prosecution for priests convicted of abuse, and the church has to be willing to change.

But, some wounds will never be healed.

“Nothing. No amount of money, no amount of counseling, can restore the innocence that has been stolen from a child that has been abused. It’s awful. It’s disgusting. Especially by a priest, a man of God,” Nickless said to the crowd of over 100.

The Bishop hopes now that he’s opened up a discussion within the Diocese, he and other church leaders can work to end abuse and strengthen the church.

“I look forward to being with the Bishops to find out what we’ve learned together and we can share and try to make a difference,” he said.

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