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    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    Davenport, Portland, Spokane, Tuscon


    The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday, the fourth diocese in the nation to seek financial protection to deal with priest sex abuse cases.

    link

    In the fall 2004, the diocese agreed to pay $9 million to settle 37 claims against priests dating back to the 1950s and 1960s.

    Many of the most recent claims focus on Bishop Lawrence Soens, who has been accused of fondling as many as 15 students during his tenure as priest and principal at a Catholic high school in Iowa City during the 1960s.

    Soens, who served as Bishop in Sioux City, in western Iowa, from 1983-98, denies the allegations.

    His trial is scheduled to begin in Davenport Oct. 23.

    The filing comes less than two weeks before the diocese defends itself in court against accusations it failed to discipline a former bishop accused of sexually abusing a high school student.

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