Msgr. Thomas J. Feeney

Summary of Case: Feeney held prominent positions in the diocese, including Chancellor and Vicar General. He has multiple allegations against him of sexually abusing children from the late 1940s to the 1960s. He died in 1981. The diocese acknowleded in May 2006 that the allegations against him were credible. Feeney has been the subject of multiple lawsuits. In a civil trial in September 2006 a man testified that Feeney abused him for six years, beginning when he was age 7. He was awarded $1.5 million by the jury. Another man testified that Feeney abused him in the late 1940s. Both men said some of the abuse occurred on bird-watching trips, and that Feeney would fondle them and slap their bellies. On its list in 2008 the diocese noted that Feeney had been accused of the abuse of 15 boys.         

: 1937
Died: July 26,1981 


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Davenport bishop was Henry Patrick Rohlman (1927-1944)

1938 St. Ambrose College Davenport



Baltimore bishop was Michael Joseph Curley (1921-1947)

1941 Catholic University Washington DC    



1942 Vice Chancellor Davenport IA  



Davenport bishop was Ralph Leo Hayes (1944-1966)

1948 Iowa Mercy Hospital


In 2006 a man testified at a civil trial that Feeney abused him as a boy in the late 1940s.  He said the priest would take him bird-watching, then fondle him and slap his belly .(Sioux City Journal, Sept. 15, 2006)

IA Chaplain  
1942 1953 Chancellor Davenport IA  


1942 1953 Council of Administration/Diocesan Administrative Council Davenport IA    
1942 1946 Diocesan Director Propogation of the Faith Davenport IA    
1947 1953 Tribunal Notary Davenport IA    
1948 1952

1430 Clay St.

Davenport IA   The 1949-1952 Directories index Feeney as at 1430 Clay St.
1951 1953 Diocesan Director Pontifical Association of Holy Childhood



1952 1953 Mercy Hospital Davenport IA   Resident Chaplain


Replacing Hayes as bishop was Gerald Francis O'Keefe (1966-1993)


1968 Sacred Heart Cathedral


Lawsuit in 2005 by a man who claimed having been sexually and physically abused by Feeney beginning when he was age 7, ending 6 years later after he told his mother. Some of the abuse allegedly happened when Feeney would take the boy bird-watching, and involved fondling and slapping the boy's belly. (Quad-City Times August 6, 2005) The man had been the youngest altar boy at the Cathedral. His mother testified that she reported the abuse to a priest at Sacred Heart, but was told nothing could be done because of Feeney's "high position in the diocese." (Des Moines Register [Iowa]
September 15, 2006) In 2006 the diocese acknowledged that Feeney abused children in the 1950s and 1960s. At least six victims had come forward (WCF Courier May 23, 2006).



Working under Feeney were Revs. Edward C. Greer and Joseph P. Hines 1953-1959. Hines was the third priest until 1959, when he moved to the second spot, where he remained until 1961. Rev. Daniel J. Kelly arrived as third priest in 1959, moving to the second spot in 1967. Rev. Robert G. Mann was second priest 1961-1967. In 1967-1968, third priest was Rev. Lawrence J. Brafman.

The Cathedral had a school with 551-413 students.


Hines has credible allegations against him. (Diocese of Davenport Creditors' Committee August 27, 2007)

1968 1981 Vicar General        
1968 1981 St. Anthony's Davenport IA

1/3, 1/2

Working under Feeney were Rev. James E. Grubb 1968-1979, Rev. Michael J. Morrissey as third priest 1968-1969, Rev. James Janssen 1979-1980, and Rev. Rudolph T. Juarez 1980-1981.

Feeney died July 26, 1981.



Janssen has been accused of abusing many boys over his 42 year career as a priest, including at St. Anthony's. ( assignment record)

Feeney's name was included on the diocese's list in July 2008 of credibly accused. (Diocese of Davenport, July 14, 2008)

Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1938-1982).

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy & Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record was last updated March 9, 2021.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.