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Catholic church allows priest to return to teaching after he misbehaved sexually in the nineties but not with minors

Allegations from early '90s did not involve minors

Iowa map (Image via Wikimedia Commons)
Iowa map (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

A well-known Roman Catholic professor will be allowed to return to teaching and the ministry with restrictions after an inquiry found he misbehaved sexually in the 1990s but not against minors, church officials in Iowa announced Tuesday.

The investigation found that the allegation against the Rev. Robert “Bud” Grant did not involve a minor because the complainant was “above majority age” at the time, the Diocese of Des Moines said in a statement.

However, the inquiry did establish that Grant “engaged in behavior in select instances in the early 1990s” that violated the 6th Commandment and his priestly promises, the diocese said. The 6th Commandment admonishes Catholics not to commit adultery and priests vow to maintain celibacy.

Grant has been cleared to return to teaching at St. Ambrose University in Davenport in the spring semester. He also will return to St. Andrew Parish in Blue Grass where he will offer sacramental ministry.

Citing the “seriousness of the misconduct,” Des Moines Bishop William Joensen imposed restrictions on Grant that include an order not to touch or meet alone with anyone under the age of 24. The diocese did not elaborate on why that age was chosen.

A monitor will also supervise Grant’s activities, Joensen said.

The restrictions will be in place for one year and will be reviewed and adjusted after that time as necessary, the bishop said.

Grant didn’t immediately return a phone message left at his office.

An individual called a hotline operated by Attorney General Tom Miller’s office in June 2019 alleging abuse by Grant from 1992 to 1994, when he was a teacher and coach at St. Albert High School in Council Bluffs.

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The church launched an investigation and placed on administrative leave from his teaching and priest assignments in March this year.

County prosecutors in Pottawattamie and Scott declined to open criminal investigations because the statute of limitations had long expired.

Grant joined the faculty at St. Ambrose, a private school with an enrollment of around 3,000 students, in 1994. Known as “Father Bud,” he has taught environmental ethics and historical theology and is known for his activism on climate change and other social issues.

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