Posts Tagged Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Archdiocese of Milwaukee says it won’t participate in AG investigation of clergy sex abuse / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Survivors of abuse and their advocates have long called for Wisconsin officials to take action, contending any review should be conducted by independent authorities and not the same institutions accused of perpetuating and covering up misconduct.Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is pushing back against a recently announced attorney general investigation into sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, calling it a display of ‘anti-Catholic bigotry’ and a violation of the First Amendment.
“In a letter from the archdiocese’s attorney, Frank LoCoco of the Milwaukee firm Husch Blackwell, contends Attorney General Josh Kaul doesn’t have the authority to investigate the Catholic dioceses of the state and that doing so would go against the U.S. Constitution and state laws.
“In the letter, LoCoco suggests that the investigation may be motivated by anti-religious sentiments, and that the probe is looking back too far in time.
“The first-term, Democratic attorney general announced the investigation in April.
“Led by Kaul’s Department of Justice, the probe focuses on abuse allegations against clergy and other faith leaders, many of which date back decades and involve religious officials who are now dead.
“An investigation will be difficult to get underway with the archdiocese declining to produce documents, though.
“In a Tuesday (Jun. 1) email to congregants, Archbishop Jerome Listecki did vow to cooperate with any investigation into living members of the clergy brought forward during this inquiry. He wrote that instead of focusing on past abuse, Kaul should be investigating new claims.
“In an email Thursday afternoon, Kaul said the investigation was launched in pursuit of accountability, healing and to prevent future abuse.”
By Laura Schulte and Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — Read more …
In a blow to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in its ongoing bankruptcy, a federal appeals court on Monday (Mar. 9) put a $60 million cemetery trust fund back in play to potentially settle claims related to sexual abuse by priests.
“The ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the church cannot use the First Amendment or a 1993 law aimed at protecting religious freedom to shield the funds.
“The court also said the judge who put the money off limits, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa, should have disclosed the fact his parents and other relatives are buried in a cemetery maintained by the trust fund. The court remanded the case to a different district judge.”
By Bruce Vielmetti and Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — Click here to read the rest of this story.
And so begins the disclosure of systemic coverup and additional sexual abuse of children in the Chicago Archdiocese, along with the excuses or minimizing of current hierarchical officials, some of whom are complicit in the pattern of coverup. Will this be another round of ho-hum responses by people in the pews, or might they wake up to what one survivor told Pope Benedict was a cancer in the body of the Church. But for the courage of survivors and the legal advocacy on their behalf, the Church hierarchy in Chicago and around the world would be spinning the same denials as they have been for the last 12 years. — Bill Casey, former Voice of the Faithful® Board of Trustees Chair
“Thousands of pages of secret church documents released Tuesday (Jan. 21) as part of a court settlement provide an unprecedented and gut-wrenching look at how the Archdiocese of Chicago for years failed to protect children from abusive priests.
“The documents provide new details and insights into how the nation’s third-largest archdiocese quietly shuttled accused priests from parish to parish and failed to notify police of child abuse allegations. The paper trail, going back decades, also portrays painfully slow progress toward reform, accountability and openness.” By Manya Brachear Pashman, Christy Gutowski and Todd Lighty, Chicago Tribune
Click here to read the rest of this article, “New Abuse Documents Detail Chicago Archdiocese Missteps.”
“After a 13-year-old boy reported in 1979 that a priest raped and threatened him at gunpoint to keep quiet, the Archdiocese of Chicago assured the boy’s parents that, although the cleric avoided prosecution, he would receive treatment and have no further contact with minors.
“But the Rev. William Cloutier, who already had been accused of molesting other children, was returned to ministry a year later and went on to abuse again before he resigned in 1993, two years after the boy’s parents filed a lawsuit. Officials took no action against Cloutier over his earliest transgressions because he “sounded repentant,” according to internal archdiocese documents released Tuesday (Jan. 21) that show how the archdiocese tried to contain a mounting scandal over child sexual abuse.” By Tammy Webber, Associated Press, in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Click here to read the rest of this article, “Chicago Archdiocese Hid Decades of Child Abuse.”
Archdiocesan officials in Milwaukee and leaders of a Milwaukee-based religious congregation try to explain away culpability for allowing a priest to remain in active ministry at two parishes and a school despite knowledge of prior sexual abuse of children. Only when another allegation was reported to police did the archdiocese and congregation remove the priest from his assignments. All of this transpired over the past year. What does this malfeasance say about how hierarchical leaders continue to place the interests of their institutions over the protection of children?
Bill Casey, Voice of the Faithful member and former trustee
See the news story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — Milwaukee Catholic Officials Knew of California Sex Abuse Allegations Against Priest