News: Priest Suspended Following Allegation of Misconduct

July 10, 2020

diocesan logo

Bishop William Joensen suspended a priest of the Diocese of Des Moines, Father James Kirby, on Friday, July 10 following an allegation of inappropriate conduct.

While suspended, Father Kirby may not engage in public priestly ministry including celebrating Mass or other sacraments, and preaching.  In the meantime, he is not to initiate contact with any parish leadership of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, where he is pastor.

In addition to the ministerial aspects of his suspension, Bishop Joensen imposed the following additional restrictions: Father Kirby cannot contact the complainant or her family, nor any woman under age 30 unless she is a family member. He cannot enter any taverns or bars and must avoid bars in restaurants.

While Father Kirby remains a priest of the Diocese of Des Moines, he will be required to complete set conditions and exhibit significant reform in order to return to active ministry. 

The Diocese of Des Moines holds its clergy and ministers to the highest standards of ethical conduct.  It is important to receive notice of such abuses of power in order to address them immediately. 

Father Kirby was ordained in 1996. He served as associate pastor at St. Theresa Church 1996-1998, as campus minister at Dowling Catholic High School 1998-2008, and as parochial vicar at St. Francis of Assisi Church 2008-2009. He has been serving as pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton Church in Carlisle since 2009.