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Wrong James Janssen?

James M. Janssen

Assistant

St. Joseph Catholic Church

HQ Phone:  (618) 539-3209

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I agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand that I will receive a subscription to ZoomInfo Community Edition at no charge in exchange for downloading and installing the ZoomInfo Contact Contributor utility which, among other features, involves sharing my business contacts as well as headers and signature blocks from emails that I receive.

St. Joseph Catholic Church

6 North Alton Street

Freeburg, Illinois,62243

United States

Background Information

Employment History

Chaplain

Boy Scouts


Lifeguard

Davenport Catholic Diocese


Pastor

Philip and James Parish


Diocesan Chaplain

Scouting


Contributor

Quad City Times


Substitute Pastor

Bishop Hayes


Web References(78 Total References)


Bishop Accountability

www.bishop-accountability.org [cached]

They are: James Janssen, Francis Bass, Frank Martinez, William Wiebler and Richard Poster.
They are: James Janssen, Francis Bass, Frank Martinez, William Wiebler and Richard Poster. Indeed, reports of complaints (such as those by by a survivor in 1974 regarding Bass and by Bobbi R. Martin in 1983 regarding Janssen ) seem to be missing from diocesan files, although we cannot be certain that these complaints are truly absent until the files are made public, as Judge C.H. Pelton has ordered. Her story about discovering the secret archive containing documents on Janssen is difficult to reconcile with the law of the church, but it is consistent with a diocesan penchant for secrecy. Vicar General Morrissey lied under oath , Chancellor Dingman swore to keep Janssen's abuse secret, and Morrissey remarked to Bishop O'Keefe (after receiving a victim's complaint): "This memo should be sealed and put in Father Bass's file. After a 1996 allegation, Morrissey wrote to Janssen, "Both you and the Church are fortunate that this is not being pursued in a more public forum. The secret archive contained documents from the 1950s and very early 1960s, but nothing on Janssen after that. But O'Keefe filed compromising documents about Geerts in the 1990s, so why not about Janssen in the late 1960s and 1970s? During this time, Janssen was rehabilitated at the Abbey of Our Lady of New Melleray in Dubuque and began to hold lengthy appointments at parishes, where he allegedly abused many boys. In the 1960s, when complaints vanish from the files, Janssen and Bass are alleged to have abused boys together and with other priests. • Learned that Janssen and Bass were both connected to a Janssen victim (10/1/58); The Review Board recommendations concerning Fr. James Janssen, Fr. William Wiebler, Fr. Francis Bass, Fr. Frank Martinez and Fr. Richard Poster are discussed below. On October 2, 2004, the recently defrocked Janssen attended a training session for foster and adoptive parents held by the Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association, of which Janssen was a member. Franklin had issued precepts on both Wiebler and Janssen, but to no purpose. James Janssen Bishop Franklin neglects to mention the two warnings about Janssen received in 1948 from the rector and the director of students at Kenrick Seminary. The case of James Janssen included an investigation of records dating back over 50 years. The procedure for dealing with sexual abuse allegations against priests has dramatically changed over the years in response to the increased level of awareness of the harm caused by the misconduct. In the 1950s and 1960s, sexual misconduct was perceived as a spiritual matter, a sin to be confessed with a penance to be performed. This is a demonstrably false description of perceptions at the time. In a 1961 letter , then-Chancellor Dingman writes to Bishop Hayes that a mother "might go to the Police and have action taken against Father Janssen. Regrettably, this procedure was followed in the 1950s and 1960s with Fr. Janssen. This is a false statement. Twice a "mental health professional" recommended to Bishop Hayes that Janssen have assigned to him a spiritual director. Diocesan records show that, in November 1956, Fr. Janssen was suspended by Bishop Ralph Hayes and placed on indefinite leave from his appointment as assistant pastor at Sacred Heart in Newton as a result of apparent sexual misconduct. Instead Bishop Hayes assigned Fr. Janssen [alone and unsupervised] as a substitute pastor at St. Michael Church, Holbrook, effective June 6, 1958. When the psychologist wrote Hayes again in August 1958 to ask whether Janssen had been assigned a spiritual director, Hayes replied, "I haven't assigned any particular priest as his spiritual director. In September 1958, Bishop Hayes received a report from the pastor at a church near Loyola University that Fr. Janssen had been involved in sexual misconduct. Hayes also received evidence from Henehan: sexually explicit letters { 1} { 2} between Janssen and his victim. Janssen's letter to his victim mentioned Rev. Francis E. Bass. Bishop Hayes again suspended Fr. Janssen, who went to the Abbey of Our Lady of New Melleray. Rev. Dom Philip O'Connor, O.C.S.O. reported favorably to an inquiry by Bishop Hayes as to whether Fr. Janssen had made sufficient progress to warrant recalling him to the Diocese. Diocesan records do not include specific reports of sexual misconduct at St. Mary Church, but there are complaints from parents of inappropriate behavior by Fr. Janssen with boys. This statement is misleading. In fact, particularly given Janssen's prior history, the evidence of sexual misconduct at St. Mary's is extensive and clear: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Fr. Janssen was assigned as assistant at St. Joseph Church, Ft. Madison, from 1961 to 1967 and as pastor at St. Joseph Church, Browns (Sugar Creek), from 1967 to 1979. After a brief tenure as co-pastor at St. Mary Church Davenport, Fr. Janssen was assigned as pastor of SS. Philip & James Church, Grand Mound, from 1980-1990. This is incorrect. As stated elsewhere in the Franklin report, Janssen was co-pastor for a year (10/11/79-10/21/80) not at St. Mary's but at St. Anthony's in Davenport (where the other and senior co-pastor was Rev. Msgr. From 1961 until 1988, Diocesan records show that no allegations of sexual abuse were made against Fr. Janssen. Philip and James, who explained in detail that Janssen was showing pornographic movies to boys at the rectory. See Martin's affidavit. After allegations were made in 1988, an investigation by the Diocese uncovered credible allegations of sexual misconduct by Fr. Janssen while he was at Ft. Madison, Sugar Creek and Grand Mound. After additional allegations of past sexual abuse were made, Fr. Janssen was ordered by me on April 1, 1996 to cease any public activity of a Church nature, including assistance he was providing at a hospital. All active priests in the Diocese were informed that Fr. Janssen was not available for any duties. Vicar General Morrissey conveyed the April 1, 1996 order to Janssen. Then a February 5, 1997 confidential letter from Franklin to Janssen listed priestly activities that were still permitted, including participation in priest gatherings, celebration of funeral Masses for priests and relatives, and special occasion requests, to be cleared through Rev. Drake R. Shafer with Bishop Franklin. On August 30, 2000, I issued a Precept, the strongest canonical action possible at that time, which bound Fr. Janssen with specific obligations: 1) To refrain from all contact with minors (under age 18); 2) To cease work in places of employment where contact with minors is likely to occur; 3) To further avoid all places and situations that, from past experience, have been occasions of serious temptation in the areas of sexual morality. Franklin issued this precept after an August 4, 2000 article appeared in the Quad-City Times, reporting that Janssen was lifeguarding and teaching at the pools in the Davenport Outing Club and the Scott County Family Y. (At this time, Janssen was living at the St. Vincent Center in Davenport with retired Davenport Bishop O'Keefe, Vicar General Morrissey, Chancellor Leo Feeney, Vice Chancellor Parizek, and other diocesan officials, as well as accused priest Frank Martinez.) From the perspective of today, it was clearly a mistake for Fr. Janssen to have been reassigned to any public ministry after his 1956 suspension. The Diocese of Davenport apologizes for these mistakes. I have accepted the recommendation of the Review Board that I request the Vatican to laicize Fr. James Janssen. Bishop Franklin does not mention here that that on October 1, 1958, Bishop Hayes acknowledged having been forwarded an obscene letter from Janssen to a victim , in which Janssen referred familiarly to Bass's new car and a drive up to see the victim again. James M. Janssen, 81, of Davenport; ordained March 19, 1948 [see also our alternative service record for Janssen] Janssen was appointed to St. Patrick's on 1/22/59. Philip and James Request for laicization of Janssen sent to Vatican, after a 3-month delay. 7/28/04 Vatican laicizes Janssen. Other residents were Vicar General Morrissey, Chancellor Leo Feeney, and Janssen. * In the Franklin report, assignments are only provided for the five priests whose laicization has been requested: Bass, Janssen, Martinez, Poster, and Wiebler.


Minister Schedule

www.stjosephfreeburg.org [cached]

Jim Janssen
Jim Janssen Jim Janssen Jim Janssen


The Hawk Eye Newspaper

www.thehawkeye.com [cached]

Responding to the sexual abuse crisis last year, Franklin asked the Vatican to defrock five priests, including Janssen, Bass and Wiebler.Pope John Paul II in September defrocked Janssen, who was shuffled from parish to parish as he abused young boys between 1956 and 1988, but declined to take that step against the four others. Janssen served as pastor at a Lee County parish commonly known as Sugar Creek from 1967 to 1979.Previously, he served at St. Joseph in Fort Madison from 1961 to 1967 and St. Paul's in Burlington from 1948 to 1950.


Quad-City Times Newspaper Online - the Quad-Cities Home Page

www.qctimes.com [cached]

They are: James Janssen, Francis Bass, Frank Martinez, William Wiebler and Richard Poster.They are: James Janssen, Francis Bass, Frank Martinez, William Wiebler and Richard Poster.The Review Board recommendations concerning Fr. James Janssen, Fr. William Wiebler, Fr. Francis Bass, Fr. Frank Martinez and Fr. Richard Poster are discussed below. .James Janssen .The case of James Janssen included an investigation of records dating back over 50 years.Diocesan records show that, in November 1956, Fr. Janssen was suspended by Bishop Ralph Hayes and placed on indefinite leave from his appointment as assistant pastor at Sacred Heart in Newton as a result of apparent sexual misconduct.In August 1957, a Loyola University doctor wrote to Bishop Hayes and advised him that Fr. Janssen "can become a very understanding and acceptable pastor...not likely to fall into past errors."Bishop Hayes assigned Fr. Janssen as a substitute pastor at St. Michael Church, Holbrook, effective June 6, 1958.In September 1958, Bishop Hayes received a report from the pastor at a church near Loyola University that Fr. Janssen had been involved in sexual misconduct.Bishop Hayes again suspended Fr. Janssen, who went to the Abbey of Our Lady of New Melleray.In January 1959, the Abbot reported favorably to an inquiry by Bishop Hayes as to whether Fr. Janssen had made sufficient progress to warrant recalling him to the Diocese.Bishop Hayes then appointed Fr. Janssen temporary administrator of St. Patrick Church, Delmar, and in June 1959, as assistant at St. Mary Church, Davenport. .Diocesan records do not include specific reports of sexual misconduct at St. Mary Church, but there are complaints from parents of inappropriate behavior by Fr. Janssen with boys.Fr. Janssen was assigned as assistant at St. Joseph Church, Ft. Madison, from 1961 to 1967 and as pastor at St. Joseph Church, Browns (Sugar Creek), from 1967 to 1979.After a brief tenure as co-pastor at St. Mary Church Davenport, Fr. Janssen was assigned as pastor of SS.Philip & James Church, Grand Mound, from 1980-1990. .From 1961 until 1988, Diocesan records show that no allegations of sexual abuse were made against Fr. Janssen.After allegations were made in 1988, an investigation by the Diocese uncovered credible allegations of sexual misconduct by Fr. Janssen while he was at Ft. Madison, Sugar Creek and Grand Mound.He was placed on indefinite leave of absence by Bishop Gerald O'Keefe on August 15, 1990 and was retired from active ministry effective November 5, 1991. .After additional allegations of past sexual abuse were made, Fr. Janssen was ordered by me on April 1, 1996 to cease any public activity of a Church nature, including assistance he was providing at a hospital. .All active priests in the Diocese were informed that Fr. Janssen was not available for any duties. .On August 30, 2000, I issued a Precept, the strongest canonical action possible at that time, which bound Fr. Janssen with specific obligations: 1) To refrain from all contact with minors (under age 18); 2) To cease work in places of employment where contact with minors is likely to occur; 3) To further avoid all places and situations that, from past experience, have been occasions of serious temptation in the areas of sexual morality. .From the perspective of today, it was clearly a mistake for Fr. Janssen to have been reassigned to any public ministry after his 1956 suspension.James M. Janssen, 81, of Davenport; ordained March 19, 1948 .


Bishop Accountability

www.bishop-accountability.org [cached]

Note from BishopAccountability.org: This useful summary by the Des Moines Register describes many of the diocesan documents that have been publicly filed in cases involving Rev. James M. Janssen.
Court documents obtained by The Des Moines Register detail allegations of sexual misconduct by priests James Janssen, Francis Bass and Theodore Anthony Geerts, and the Davenport Diocese's response. Orville F. DeCoursey, pastor of St. Mary's in Fairfield} called him reporting that Janssen is "in a [very] distraught state of mind" and on the verge of a nervous breakdown, complaining of loneliness. Janssen, who was pastor {actually assistant} at East Pleasant Plain, said he could not eat or sleep. Later in the day, Janssen met with Dingman and said he loathed the country and that the place was getting to him. If Janssen follows the bishop's advice, "you will be able to do good work for our Lord, and you will be happy in that work. Sept. 30, 1954 - A handwritten memo from Hayes notes that when Janssen was in his fourth year at St. Ambrose Academy, he "solicited to acts of impurity" but it has not been repeated. According to Hayes's note, the incident took place in August 1954, when Janssen was already a priest. So it was the victim, not Janssen, who was a fourth-year student at St. Ambrose Academy, and it was the victim who went to Bishop Hayes.} The Burlington police chief had received inquiries from Newton and Clinton police regarding Janssen regarding "a morals charge. Dingman reports the Burlington priest believed something should be done before "the blow[-up] comes and the church suffers. The priest heard rumors earlier, but dismissed them as having no foundation. {Janssen had served at St. Paul's in Burlington (1948-50), St. Irenaeus in Clinton (1950-53), and Sacred Heart in Newton (1953-56). During 1953, he also served briefly at St. Joseph's in East Pleasant Plain and spent a few months on leave.} Nov. 2, 1956 - The secretary of the Newton YMCA Board writes Hayes reporting, "Several years ago, our General Secretary reported ... he [had] found Father Janssen in [the] handball court with two boys in a very improper activity .... The Board instructed the Secretary to prohibit [Father] Janssen from the YMCA. {This document was not a letter, and it was not addressed to Janssen. It is an internal note on the bishop's stationery.} Nov. 9, 1956 - Hayes sends Janssen a letter placing him on indefinite leave, Nov. 13, and telling him to " leave the Diocese immediately or just as soon as [possible]. The bishop encloses a check for $100 to assist Janssen in his initial expenses. In December, Janssen was permitted to enroll at Loyola University during his leave. Aug. 24, 1957 - Loyola psychologist J.V.P. Stewart writes to the bishop that Janssen did not receive adequate guidance from his peers. "He went time after time to confession to two priests, [having] the same matter to confess ([i.e.,] masturbation and [the problem of having some relationship with [a] male[, this of course not as often as masturbation]) and no word of counsel or spiritual direction was given. Yet, the doctor gave Janssen a qualified good report. " It is urgent and essential that he have assigned [to] him particularly, a mature, understanding, spiritual director ; one who can act almost [one would say,] as a father figure." Aug. 12, 1958 - Stewart again writes Hayes, checking up on Janssen . {Stewart asked whether Hayes had found a spiritual director for Janssen.} It was St. Michael's in Holbrook, where Janssen briefly replaced Rev. John J. Morrissey. At the time, Morrissey was the diocesan chaplain of the Boy Scouts. Curiously, Janssen would succeed Morrissey as director of the Boy Scouts years later, on 7/24/80.} Oct. 3, 1958 - A letter from Hayes to Janssen suspended the priest indefinitely, "for grave reasons known to me. " Shortly thereafter, Janssen went to the Abbey of Our Lady of New Melleray {in the Dubuque archdiocese} for counseling. Rev. Dom Philip O'Connor}, asking if Janssen had made sufficient progress that he could be recalled to the diocese. Jan. 17, 1959 - The abbot at New Melleray writes Hayes giving Janssen a favorable report. He expresses his earnest hope and prayer that Janssen has learned his lesson. Jan. 19, 1959 - Hayes appoints Janssen as administrator, a temporary position, at St. Patrick's in Delmar. Dec. 28, 1959 - Letter from Dingman to Hayes about a professor at St. Ambrose {College} observing " Janssen with one hand on {document redacted} boy's head and rubbing the front part of the boy's body ." The incident was also witnessed by a woman and a Catholic nun. Sept. 8, 1960 - Dingman writes Hayes reporting that a doctor approached him saying that "some mother had come to him in tears about her son [who was] spending too much time with [Father] Janssen. The mother drove to the store with her son and Janssen sitting in the back seat. She thought it strange that Janssen would take this boy on his lap , as there was plenty of room in the back seat and it was a hot day. "It seems {Dingman wrote} that Father Janssen has access to a cottage somewhere. This also worried the mother." Sept. 10, 1960 - Handwritten notes by Hayes about a meeting with Janssen . The priest denied ever taking boys in his auto unless accompanied by parent, denied taking the boys to an Optimist Club cabin without parental or adult supervision {next to these denials Hayes has written in Latin "Is it really true?"} and said he had nothing to do with dances for grade school children. Sept. 10, 1960 - Letter of warning from Hayes to Janssen , placing him "under obedience. Janssen is forbidden to have boys riding with him in his car at any time for any reason; forbidden to take boys to any cabin or cottage; forbidden to encourage dances of any kind for grade school or high school boys and girls. "If you at any time disregard these injunctions, it will be necessary for me to order you to sell your automobile and [to impose] appropriate canonical penalties." Dec. 16, 1960 - Typed memo by Hayes outlining complaints received about Janssen , including one from a mother of a 14-year-old boy who was an eighth-grader at St. Mary's school {in Davenport}. She caught Janssen and her son in the kitchen with their arms around one another. She later found a "dirty" note on the floor. She complained that Janssen took her son for rides in his car and reported that Janssen took four other boys with him to Chicago and that he took two boys with him to Florida. Another woman complained she found Janssen with one of her sons alone in a room in a compromising position. "Mrs. (deleted) was very much upset; she is not bitter against Father Janssen; she pities him and thinks he is not responsible for his actions." Dec. 19, 1960 - Handwritten note by Hayes regarding interview with Janssen. Conclusion, " I do not know whether [or not] to believe him - his past record is against him ." {Hayes also writes that Janssen claimed "he was falsely accused."} James J. Hopkins, pastor of St. Mary's in Davenport and Janssen's superior there} was worried that Mrs. (deleted) would go to police and have action taken against Janssen. Dingman writes that if the mother reports Janssen, "the matter could break in the papers and become nationally known. Hopkins said he though the police would find it difficult to make the boys talk because Janssen has them intimidated . June 14, 1961 - Hayes relieved Janssen from his assignment at St. Mary parish and reassigned him at St. Joseph parish in Fort Madison. However, a number of lawsuits filed over the last three years in Scott and Clinton counties allege abuse to minor boys by Janssen while he was pastor at Fort Madison {St. Joseph's, 1961-67, see for example: 1, 2, 3, and 4}, Sugar Creek {St. Joseph's, 1967-79, see for example, 5 and 6}, and Grand Mound {Sts. Philip and James, 1980-90, see for example 7}. {Between Sugar Creek and Grand Mound, Janssen served for a year at St. Anthony's in Davenport, where he was co-pastor with Msgr. Feb. 1, 1967 - Janssen appointed as pastor at St. Joseph parish at Sugar Creek. He was also given an additional appointment to St. Mary church in Bryant from August 1972 to October 1978. November 1977 - Notes in the diocesan file record a meeting with Bryant parishioners complaining about Janssen's Masses and money concerns. There were also allegations that Janssen taught children to be dishonest, to jump fences at movies and steal from pop machines. September 1979 - Janssen assigned as co-pastor at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Davenport. September 1980 - Janssen reassigned to Saints Philip and James parish in Grand Mound. To my knowledge, no actions were taken against Father Janssen as a result of our specific complaints," Martin wrote. The report includes allegations that Janssen was "sent home from a national boy scout gathering at William & Mary College. The reporting family wants the following action taken: a) Janssen "should be out of the priesthood and [would] not [be] permitted to retire or quit carrying with him the dignity of the priesthood or what it might avail him to. When Boyle retired in 1966, Janssen was briefly made administrator at this church, before being transferred in 1967 to St. Joseph's in Sugar Creek. * McAleer says that Janssen was alleged to have viewed stag movies with victims in a rectory in Farmington. July 31, 1990 - O'Keefe writes Janssen, accepting his resignation as Diocesan Chaplain for Scouting and granting indefinite leave of absence for health reasons . Janssen is allowed to say private Mass. April 1, 1996 - Morrissey writes Janssen about "further allegations of sexual misconduct with a teenage boy" against him. "The matter will not be pursued further if you cease any public activity of a Church nature. Janssen is asked to immediately cease contact with a teenage boy who is a client of Genesis Medical Center; cease serving Mass for other priests. " Both you and the Church are fortunate that this is not being pursued in a more public forum ." May 24, 1996 - Morrissey sends letters to all active priests in the Davenport Diocese notifying them that Janssen is not available for fill-in or substitute work or assisting them in other duties. Feb. 5, 1997 - Bishop William E. Franklin writes a letter to Janssen defining his ministry under the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops guidelines "Restoring Trust. Aug. 4, 2000 - The Quad-City Times publishes a story about Janssen, then 78, and his efforts to be named the world's oldest lifeguard. Janssen was working as a lifeguard at the Davenport Outing Club and the Scott County Family Y . The story reports that swimming has been Janssen's passion since he was an Eagle Scout continuing during his years as a scout leader. It reports he dabbled in lifeguarding all during his career as a priest, including a stint in 1954 at a pool in Newton. Aug. 30, 2000 - Franklin issues a Precept, a severe sanction, against Janssen because allegations have again been raised that the priest engaged in immoral sexual activities that violate clerical celibacy and in violation of the diocese sexual misconduct policy . Janssen is ordered to refrain from all contact with minors, cease work in places of employment where contact with people younger than 18 is likely to occur and "to [further] avoid all places and situations that, from past experience, have been occasions of serious temptation in the areas of sexual morality."


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