Church Abuse Victims Speak about Settlement
By Emily Matesic
March 22, 2013
Two brothers who settled their lawsuit against the Green Bay Catholic Diocese are talking about that decision. Todd and Troy Merryfield say church officials knew of former priest John Feeney's prior sexual misconduct when he abused the Merryfield brothers in 1978. In 2002, Feeney was convicted of sexual abuse.
Last May, the Merryfield's won a civil trial and were awarded $700,000 in damages. That verdict was later overturned.
It's been a long road for Todd and Troy Merryfield. The men have been fighting the Green Bay Catholic Diocese since 1978 when they were molested by now defrocked priest John Feeney. Today the brothers have ended their fight after settling their civil suit for $700.000.
"It's a relief to be done doing this legal dance," says Todd Merryfield. "That's a relief for us."
While the brothers are glad to be done with the legal wrangling, they tell us the money is meaningless and they are still looking for the diocese to take responsibility for its actions.
Troy Merryfield says, "What I want is an apology from Bishop Ricken and an apology from Tim Reilly that the Diocese knew that John Feeney was a child molester and they enabled him to molest me, Todd."
In a statement released late this afternoon, Bishop David Ricken said, "I am truly sorry to Todd Merryfield and Troy Merryfield, as well as their families, for the pain they have endured from child sexual abuse and the lawsuits that followed. I hope and pray that they can experience god's healing presence within their hearts."
The Bishop also asked to meet with the Merryfields, an invitation the brothers said needs to happen in a public forum and not privately like the Bishop requested.