Panel shows progress

Xavier High School held an informative public forum on Tuesday, October 2 regarding the Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis. Five panelists, including Archdiocese of Dubuque’s Development Director Jeff Henderson, Father Jerry Kopacek, Deacon Michael Klappholz, attorney Karen Volz, and Sister Linda Bechen, RSM, spoke and answered questions pertaining to the sexual abuse crisis. This forum gave the people in Cedar Rapids an opportunity to listen and share their thoughts on the turmoil in the Catholic Church.

There is a difference of what is happening in Philadelphia and in Cedar Rapids.“It gave the Church a chance to listen to the voice of the faithful and receive information on the rigid things happening in the church,” St. John XXIII and Xavier High School Campus Priest Father Dustin Vu said. “There is a difference of what is happening in Philadelphia and in Cedar Rapids.”

Xavier encouraged parents and those in the community to attend its forum and everyone was allowed to participate during the panel discussion. According to Father Vu, every priest from Cedar Rapids was there, but they were not allowed to speak because it was not their place, it was the people’s place to talk. This panel was to give the citizens of Cedar Rapids a more local view, rather than national view, so that they can understand more of what is happening and how it affects Cedar Rapids.

“I did not find the panel to be especially helpful in terms of gathering information, but necessary to show that there is something being done,” junior Emma Stadelmann said.

Topics of discussion ranged from the seminary to the first cover-up. Not every question was answered, but people were still allowed to have a voice and a chance to share their concerns. Although questions remain, there is action being taken to allow these questions to be heard.