The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

April 25, 2013

Mercy: Allegations against chaplain not related to hospital

CLINTON — Allegations are being investigated against a Clinton priest.

Father John Stack has served as hospital chaplain at Mercy Medical Center since 1994. Julie Dunn, Public Relations Specialist at Mercy Medical Center, said they were contacted late last week by the Diocese of Davenport concerning an allegation filed against him. She added that while the allegation “was not related in any way to Mercy or his pastoral care of patients or residents,” Stack was placed on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.

The Diocese of Davenport has received a report that Stack allegedly touched minors inapropriately in the 1980s, according to a Monday press release from Bishop Martin Amos. Stack was ordained on May 13, 1988, and first served at Holy Family in Davenport as a parochial vicar from 1988 to 1990. After coming to Mercy Medical Center in 1994, he served in Clinton, Camanche, Lost Nation, Toronto, Oxford Junction, Sugar Creek, DeWitt, Charlotte and Grand Mound.

The matter was reported to the Scott County Attorney for review. Scott County Attorney Michael Walton said in a statement that the diocese reports any and all allegations of sexual abuse to his office prior to any screening or investigation by the diocese regarding truth of the allegations.

Walton said in most sex abuse cases charges must be filed within 10 years of the complainant turning 18. He added this allegation occurred too long ago to pursue as criminal case.

“This does not mean the allegations have been determined to be true, or that criminal charges would be filed if they were still within the statute of limitations,” Walton said in his statement.

According to the Monday press release, the diocese has also received a report that states Father Robert Harness, Pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in Davenport, inappropriately touched a minor in approximately 1990.

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