Appreciation for Fr. Robert Harness


To the Editor:
I write to express my dismay and sadness over the recent mistreatment of Father Robert Harness by the Diocese of Davenport and Bishop Martin Amos. This good man and longstanding priest has been subjected to unnecessary scrutiny, based on the testimony of an individual whose privacy is protected. Ridiculous!
The “process” should have remained private despite the Catholic bishops’ mandate. There would have been no need to remove Fr. Harness from his post in the first place and his anguish would have been preventable to a great extent.
Bishop Amos’ assertion that “We have learned that some people cannot come forward unless someone else has made a report before them,” is an example of pandering to those who seek to continue to exploit the clergy abuse issue. Gold digger types are not bashful.
The bishop acknowledges he should have “reached out” to the priest more during the investigation, yet called Fr. Harness’ mother to assure her he was in good standing
at the conclusion of the inquiry. I don’t read anywhere about sorrow and regret and an apology for what happened here.
Good luck and God bless you Fr. Harness and thank you for all your great years in the priesthood!
Tom Luton

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