Former priest with ties to Simpson part of list alleging clergy abuse


by Alex Kirkpatrick, Special to The Simpsonian

A former Indianola priest who served as a liaison between St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and Simpson College was part of a list issued Thursday by the Des Moines Diocese identifying nine priests “credibly accused” of sexually abusing children, according to a KCCI report published Thursday.

The diocese said The Rev. Howard Fitzgerald, who served in Indianola from 2013-14, is one of only two living priests facing sexual abuse allegations. The other living priest, The Rev. Leonard Kenkel, lives at a senior care facility within the diocese.

The Simpsonian reported in June 2014 that Fitzgerald was placed on indefinite administrative leave after allegations of a “decades-old” incident of sexual abuse were found credible.

Fitzgerald provided personal counsel and spiritual guidance to Simpson students. He was removed from ministry in 2014 and laicized in 2015.

Alex Kirkpatrick is a 2018 Simpson College graduate and former Managing Editor for The Simpsonian. He who now works full time as the Digital Editor for KCCI News in Des Moines.