An Iowa spokesman for a group that helps survivors of abused by priests says a Catholic priest who was publicly identified in Minnesota as a “credibly accused” child molester also worked in three Iowa towns. Father Paul Kabat worked in Milo from 1995 to 1998, Council Bluffs from 1992 to 1995 and Logan from 1985 to 1992.
Steve Thiesen of Hudson is the Iowa director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP. Thiesen says they would now like the bishops in the parishes to reach out to each of the parishes in Iowa where Kabat was stationed to see if there are other people who were abused. “And have any of them come forward, report it to law enforcement, it’s up to the victim if they want to report it to the diocese,” Thiesen says. He says the bishops need to work with any victims and “get that victim healed.”
Thiesen says the Catholic bishops have agreed to do this. “The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops all agreed to be transparent and to follow the child abuse policies. And not only the diocesan priests, but the religious men and women, the nuns, they need to do the same thing,” Thiesen says. “They need to come out and let people where members of their communities have sexually abuse teens, kids or vulnerable adults, and let these people get a chance to heal and to seek justice.” to seek justice.”
He says there is another step the church can take to help the victims of priest abuse. “The bishops and the religious men and women need to back and ask for what we call a window. That allows anybody if the statute of limitations has passed — allow a window, say two or three years — for those folks to come forward to be able to file a civil suit…or a criminal charge,” Thiesen says. The release of information about Kabat was part of a Minnesota lawsuit settlement that also contained information on six other predator priests.