A Roman Catholic diocese in Iowa has hidden for decades a priest’s admission that he sexually abused dozens of boys, a silence that may have put other children in danger.

The Associated Press has learned that the Rev. Jerome Coyle, now 85, was stripped of his parish assignments in the 1980s but has never been defrocked or publicly identified by the church as a pedophile, even though the Diocese of Sioux City has been aware of his conduct for 32 years.

This Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, photo provided by Reuben Ortiz, shows Reuben Ortiz holding a photo of the Rev. Jerome Coyle in Albuquerque, N.M. Ortiz says he was angered to learn that Coyle, who had been living at his home until recently, admitted in 1986 that he sexually abused 50 Iowa boys and that the church has kept it quiet for decades. (Tania Ortiz/Reuben Ortiz via AP)
This Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, photo provided by Reuben Ortiz, shows Reuben Ortiz holding a photo of the Rev. Jerome Coyle in Albuquerque, N.M. Ortiz says he was angered to learn that Coyle, who had been living at his home until recently, admitted in 1986 that he sexually abused 50 Iowa boys and that the church has kept it quiet for decades. (Tania Ortiz/Reuben Ortiz via AP)

He recently moved into a retirement home in Fort Dodge, Iowa, across the street from a parochial school.

He refuses to comment.

In this August 2010 photo provided by Reuben Ortiz, shows retired Catholic priest Jerome Coyle in Albuquerque, N.M. An Associated Press investigation shows that the diocese based in Sioux City, Iowa, quietly transferred Coyle to New Mexico for treatment after he acknowledged in 1986 that he had sexually abused roughly 50 Iowa boys over a 20-year period. (Reuben Ortiz via AP)
In this August 2010 photo provided by Reuben Ortiz, shows retired Catholic priest Jerome Coyle in Albuquerque, N.M. An Associated Press investigation shows that the diocese based in Sioux City, Iowa, quietly transferred Coyle to New Mexico for treatment after he acknowledged in 1986 that he had sexually abused roughly 50 Iowa boys over a 20-year period. (Reuben Ortiz via AP)

A diocese letter obtained by the AP shows that Coyle told the bishop in 1986 that he had victimized 50 youngsters over a 20-year period.

The diocese says it will respond later in the day Wednesday.

Source: The Associated Press

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