Board of Directors of St. Ambrose University
in Davenport, Iowa Decides to Remove the
Name of Former Davenport Bishop

Last 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

In the Vineyard
August 23, 2007

Volume 6, Issue 16
Printer Friendly Version (PDF)

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