Advocatesfor clergy sex abuse victims demonstrated outside two Ames Catholicchurches Sunday, passing out leaflets notifying an alleged abuser whosename had not yet been disclosed.
Information handed toCatholics leaving Mass At St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church and St. ThomasAquinas Catholic Church identified the Rev. Robert Marcantonio, whoserved in Iowa between 1971 and 1975.
A diocesan priest fromthe Providence, R.I., Diocese, Marcantonio enrolled in Iowa StateUniversity and earned masters and doctoral degrees there.
Accordingto press reports and church records, it is believed that Marcantonioabused at least two dozen boys before coming to Iowa.
Membersof the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests were asked to leavechurch property at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church by a man whoidentified himself as a church official, according to Steve Theisen ofHudson, Iowa chapter director.
“Still, we were able to giveleaflets to about 25 percent of the people driving out of the churchparking lot,” Theisen said. “People stopped, rolled down their windowsto get them.”
The group got a warmer reception at St. ThomasAquinas, where they handed out leaflets while standing on publicsidewalks, Theisen said.
The leaflets urged anyone who wasmolested by Marcantonio to step forward and get help, those who mayhave witnessed abuse by Marcantonio or other clergy to contact lawenforcement and asking the Iowa attorney general and U.S. attorneys toprotect Iowa children by prosecuting all those complicit in bringingknown sex offenders to Iowa.
“I’m saddened but not surprisedthat Archbishop Jerome Hanus and the diocesan sexual abuse review boardfailed to notify these faith communities (about Marcantonio)” Theisensaid. “The archdiocese brought in a known sexual criminal from out ofstate, harbored him and we know of at least two boys who have said hemolested them. We fear there are more.”
“My heart goes out tothese victims and their families,” said Lori Day of Des Moines, DesMoines SNAP leader. “There was absolutely no reason Iowa childrenshould have had to suffer abuse by a known criminal. The DubuqueArchdiocese and the other Catholic diocese need to reveal all the namesof sexual predators to which they exposed Iowa children.”
Marcantonio’sname is not on the list of abusers posted on the Web site of theArchdiocese of Dubuque. The archdiocese offices were closed Sunday andofficials from were not available for comment Sunday.