Former Priest Named in Sex Abuse Documents Claims Innocence
By Ben Handelman
July 2, 2013
[Michael Neuberger - file from Milwaukee archdiocese]
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — There are 42 names in thousands of pages of documents released on Monday, July 1st that shed light on the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal. These men named in the documents are men the church says are known sexual abusers — but one of those men says he has done nothing wrong, but says he has no way to prove that.
Like many of the priests named in the thousands of pages of documents released Monday, July 1st, Father Michael Neuberger has worked at many churches. A man who became a priest at a young age, he’s accused of molesting boys as soon as his career began.
In a psychologist’s report, released in the documents, Father Neuberger told doctors he found the confessional personally sexually arousing.
Documents say the priest offered to help by giving sex advice — sometimes including hands-on instruction.
The documents indicate Neuberger admitted his crimes to doctors and other priests. He was placed on restrictions and ordered away from churches.
Today, Neuberger teaches GED classes at the YWCA in Milwaukee — something he has been doing for more than a decade.
Neuberger’s boss said she was unaware of the allegations against him and the documents released Monday.
“I would have to take a look at the release first before I had any further comment,” Neuberger’s boss told FOX6 News.
Peter Isely, the Midwest Director of SNAP, a non-profit organization that advocates for victims of church sex abuse says many of the priests named in the report have gone on to have successful careers.
Former priests named in the report include a social worker and a grief counselor.
Neuberger actually reached out to FOX6 News on Tuesday night — after a reporter stopped by the YWCA. He said: “I have not had any sexual contacts with minors. Never.”
“This is distortion of anything that I have ever said. And it was taken out of psychological evaluation with a psychologist under the protection of doctor client confidentiality. I have never admitted to having sex with minors. I have never admitted to force anyone to have sex,” Neuberger said.
Neuberger says he has never seen the documents or many of the allegations against him until now. He says the church is to blame for not giving him a chance to clear his name.
“(Now almost 50 years later I’m in the position of trying to defend myself when all of the witnesses I could call are dead, several of my accusers are dead. What am I suppose to do?” Neuberger said.