Lawrence Donald Soens
|Bishop Emeritus of Sioux City|
|Appointed||June 15, 1983|
|Installed||August 17, 1983|
|Term ended||November 28, 1998|
|Predecessor||Frank Henry Greteman|
|Ordination||May 6, 1950|
|Consecration||August 17, 1983|
by James Joseph Byrne, Gerald Francis O'Keefe, Frank Henry Greteman
|Born||August 26, 1926|
Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.
|Died||November 1, 2021 (aged 95)|
Sioux City, Iowa, U.S.
Lawrence Donald Soens
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
Ordination history of
Lawrence Donald Soens
Life and careerEdit
Early life and ministryEdit
Soens was born in Iowa City, Iowa, on August 26, 1926. He was educated at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, Saint Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, and studied for the priesthood at Kenrick Seminary near Saint Louis, Missouri. He also completed graduate studies at the University of Iowa.
Soens was ordained a priest on May 6, 1950, for the Diocese of Davenport. He was engaged in both academic and pastoral work in the diocese as a priest. Soens' first assignment was as an assistant pastor at St. Paul's Church in Burlington, Iowa. He then joined the faculty of St. Ambrose Academy in Davenport and then became the assistant pastor at St. Bridget's Church in Victor, Iowa.
Soen's next assignment was as director of Regina High School in Iowa City. He went on to become the rector of St. Ambrose Seminary and served on the faculty of St. Ambrose College. His next assignment was as pastor at Assumption Church in Charlotte, Iowa and St. Patrick in Villa Nova. He was pastor at St. Mary's Church in Clinton, Iowa, when Pope John Paul II named him a Prelate of Honor, with the title of Monsignor on December 18, 1981.
Bishop of Sioux CityEdit
On June 15, 1983, John Paul II named Soens as the fifth bishop of Sioux City. He was ordained a bishop and installed on August 17, 1983, at the Cathedral of the Ephiphany by Archbishop James Joseph Byrne. Gerald Francis O'Keefe and Frank Henry Greteman were the principal co-consecrators.
In February 1986, Soens received a letter detailing allegations against Jerome Coyle, a diocese priest. The diocese had sent Coyle to Minnesota to train as a hospital chaplain. A supervisor in that program wrote Soens that Coyle was exhibiting inappropriate behavior around young boys. Soens then dispatched Coyle to the Servants of the Paraclete foundation house in Jemez Springs, New Mexico for evaluation and treatment. On May 15, 1986, the Foundation informed Soens that Coyle had admitted to fondling up to 50 teenagers. Soens suspended Coyle from parish assignments, but did not report any of his crimes to authorities.
While he was bishop, many programs were established or expanded including: Ministry 2000, the Priests Retirement Fund, youth ministry programs and the diocese mandated parish pastoral and finance commissions.
In 1997, Soens requested a coadjutor bishop and on August 19, 1997, Pope John Paul II named Msgr. Daniel DiNardo from the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Soens' resignation as Bishop of Sioux City was accepted by the Holy See on November 28, 1998, and he became Bishop Emeritus of Sioux City.
Later life and deathEdit
On November 6, 2008, the diocesan review board for the Diocese of Sioux City reported that there were credible accusations that Soens had sexually abused minors. Thirty-one men had accused him of abusing them between 1950 and 1983. The case was referred to the Vatican for further action.
- Bunson, Matthew (2010). 2010 Catholic Almanac. Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor. p. 414. ISBN 9781592766147.
- "Seven priests celebrate jubilees". The Catholic Globe. 2004-04-14. Archived from the original on 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- "Bishop Lawrence Donald Soens". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- "Iowa bishop says diocese never tried to cover up abuse by former priest | The Catholic Sun". thecatholicsun.com. 2018-11-21. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
- Diocese of Sioux City History, www.scdiocese.org[permanent dead link]
- "Daniel Nicholas Cardinal DiNardo". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- "Former Sioux City Bishop Named in Sexual Abuse Lawsuit". www.bishop-accountability.org. Retrieved 2021-11-10.
- "Retired bishop abused minors. - Free Online Library".
- "Diocesan board finds retired Iowa bishop abused minors". National Catholic Reporter. 2008-11-06. Retrieved 2021-11-10.