DUBUQUE — Twenty-six Roman Catholic priests in the Dubuque archdiocese were accused of sexually abusing children over the past 50 years, according to a diocesan report issued Monday.
Details of the report, which covers accusations made from 1950 through 2002, were included in a letter sent to all Catholic households in the 30 counties comprising the archdiocese, including Black Hawk County.
“I am sorry and apologize for what those priests did to you,” Archbishop Jerome Hanus said in the letter. “I apologize also for the inaction of some archbishops and for their mistaken decisions to continue allowing abusive priests a place of authority and respect when they did not deserve it.”
The report tallies 67 victims of sex abuse by priests: 12 girls and 55 boys.
The letter also outlines steps taken by the archdiocese to prevent sexual abuse under a new policy that took effect July 1, including more rigorous background checks of priests, deacons, pastoral administrators, teachers and principals.