Accused Priest to Become Bishop

By Mick Trevey
Today's TMJ4
June 18, 2009

MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Archdiocese publicly lists Father Joseph Collova as a likely sexual abuser and removed him from ministry. Now, a different church plans to ordain Collova a bishop.

In the Milwaukee Archdiocese, Collova was removed from ministry over the abuse allegations. He was eventually excommunicated from the Catholic Church. This weekend, the Chicago-based American Apostolic Church plans to install Collova as a bishop in Milwaukee.

Collova maintains he did not abuse anyone. He was not convicted in court.

However, the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests is upset over Collova's upcoming ordination. "It's extremely disturbing," said Peter Isely who is a local leader of the network. "What he did was so heinous that they will never ever allow him to be a Catholic priest and around children and families in parishes ever again," Isely said.

Despite the Archdiocese believing that there is a "substantiated" report of sexual abuse against Collova, he maintains he did not abuse anyone. "I never did sexually abuse anyone, I had no reason to," Collova said.

Collova talked openly about his new role with the American Apostolic Church. "It's an independent church, it's very inclusive," he said.

Collova said he plans to start a new American Apostolic Church parish in either Milwaukee or Waukesha.

The American Apostolic Church meets locally at 53rd and North Avenue in Milwaukee.

Messages to the church's Archbishop were not returned.


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