of Directors of St. Ambrose University
Iowa Decides to Remove the
Name of Former Davenport
week in the Focus we reported on the actions of the former
President of St. Ambrose, Ed Rogalski in facilitating
healing in the Church. In the Focus, I concentrated on
the actions of the Board at St. Ambrose in removing the
name of bishop who shielded a predator from its library.
I focused on St. Ambrose as a signal example of what
Catholic institutions should be. There are other facets
to the story.
In 2006 Rev. Mark Powell, a graduate of St. Ambrose
(class of 1980) wrote this letter to the Board.
As an alumni of St. Ambrose College and as
a survivor of clergy sex abuse when the diocese was
under the direction of former Bishop Gerald O'Keefe,
I would like to request that the current Board of
Directors of St. Ambrose rename the library and remove
the former bishop's name. The Father Herman Strub
Memorial Library would be a wonderful replacement.
With the news reports of how Bishop O'Keefe covered
up and obstructed justice against child predators
who were ordained priests, it is immoral for the
university community to honor this man any longer.
It is a slap in the face of all who suffer.
As his successor, Bishop Franklin said, "Prior
bishops are no longer living to explain their decisions," he
said. "All I know for certain is that, in fact,
we failed to protect children from harm. I am profoundly
sorry and I express deep apology to the victims from
the entire Catholic community."
I would be willing to accept this apology if the
name of the individual responsible for so much suffering
is eliminated from St. Ambrose, now and forever.
Rev. Mark J. Powell
St. Ambrose College
Class of 1980
Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis
Columnist Barb Ickes, from the Quad City Times chronicled
the story this way