Allegation of abuse against Father Kenkel substantiated; has been removed from ministry

    STATE -- The Allegation Review Committee for the Diocese of Des Moines investigated an allegation received last fall against Father Leonard Kenkel of decades-old sexual abuse of a minor and found the allegation to be substantiated, meaning there is sufficient evidence to believe that the abuse occurred.
    Upon receiving the complaint Sept. 6, 2018, Bishop Richard Pates immediately referred the case to law enforcement and was notified that the allegation was beyond the statute of limitations. Bishop Pates apologized to the victim, who asked for anonymity.
    Father Kenkel is retired and in a nursing facility. He is not able to minister. Nonetheless, the bishop has suspended his priestly faculties so he cannot engage in public service.
    Father Kenkel was ordained a priest in 1960. He served the following Des Moines parishes: Christ the King, Holy Trinity and St. Peter. He also served St. Boniface Parish in Westphalia, Holy Spirit Parish in Creston and St. Edward Parish in Afton. Father Kenkel taught at Dowling Catholic High School for 27 years, from 1962 to 1989. He retired in 2008.

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