A controversial Iowa priest has died. Father Albert Wilwerding was ordained in 1956, and served in Catholic churches in Des Moines, Perry, Waukee, Council Bluffs, Westphalia, Atlantic, Shenandoah, Portsmouth, Imogene, Rosemount and Milo. But after complaints began to surface the church’s Allegation Review Committee began looking into accusations that Wilwerding had sexually abused children. He’d been removed from active ministry nearly 20 years ago but Bishop Charron decided it would be appropriate to ask that he be laicized, the removal from priesthood commonly called defrocking. The Diocese of Des Moines sent its information on the allegations and the report of the committee to the Vatican, but no decision had been returned before Wilwerding died, at a retirement community for priests where he’d been living in Missouri. He was 74. Bishop Charron will speak at a funeral Saturday in St. Louis.
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