News: Priest suspended following allegation

August 23, 2018

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            A priest temporarily ministering in the Diocese of Des Moines has been suspended indefinitely following an allegation of a serious violation of boundary issues related to unwelcome advances toward a female adult.

            Immediately after hearing of the allegation early Wednesday afternoon, August 22, Bishop Richard Pates had law enforcement notified in Chariton. He also suspended Father Francis Aning Amoah, a priest of the Diocese of Konongo-Mampong of Ghana who has ministered in the Diocese of Des Moines since December 2017. Father Aning Amoah has been pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Chariton, St. Brendan Parish, Leon, and St. Francis Parish, Corydon since July 12, 2018. Prior, he was associate pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Indianola and Immaculate Conception Parish, St. Marys from December 2017-June 2018. While suspended, Father Aning Amoah may not engage in public ministry including celebrating Mass or other sacraments, nor may he go to the parish office or the parish religious education program.

            Before further ecclesial action is taken in regard to Father Aning Amoah, an investigation of the allegations will be undertaken by law enforcement.

            The diocese encourages anyone with allegations of abuse by clergy to contact their local police department or diocesan Victim Assistance Advocate Sam Porter at advocate@dmdiocese.org, Sam.Porter@polkcountyiowa.gov or 515-286-2015. Porter assists victims through the complaint process, receiving support and counseling services.

            "On behalf of the Diocese of Des Moines, I wish to extend my prayers and sincere apology to any person who has been victimized in matters such as this," said Bishop Richard Pates. "I ask you to keep in your prayer all victims, the parish communities affected, and Father Francis."