Madison Diocese concludes clergy review, names additional priest in investigation
September 3, 2019
After reviewing clergy files, the Diocese of Madison is naming another priest among the seven clergy members credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.
In June, the Diocese announced a clergy file review was being conducted by Defenbaugh and Associates. At the time the Diocese stated: “Through re-releasing names of known past offenders, and adding to that list any names of those previously found by the diocesan Sexual Abuse Review Board to be credibly accused, and conducting a thorough investigation and review of any additional names, the diocese hopes to continue to build trust, to provide healing wherever possible, and to reassure the faithful of the Diocese of Madison that such matters have been and will continue to be dealt with appropriately.”
The diocese announced in June an investigation was opening regarding a long-deceased priest. The allegations came to the diocese in the past year and findings were presented to the Sexual Abuse Review Board. The board is comprised of a retired circuit judge, a child and adolescent psychologist, a former law enforcement officer, a local attorney, and a senior pastor.
On Tuesday, the diocese released the priest's name as Father Eberhardy. Eberhardy died in 1992.
The diocese also announced it is beginning an investigation against Father Patrick Doherty. Diocese officials said after announcing the file review, someone came forward with a sexual abuse allegation. The incident happened more than 50 years ago.
Doherty is a retired Madison Diocese priest. He retired in 1993 following what officials called an "ongoing scandal to the faithful." Officials said he admitted he had an alcohol problem and accusations that there was an adult man living in the rectory.
Doherty no longer lives in Wisconsin. Diocese officials said the bishop of the diocese he presently lives has been notified of the accusation.
After the Diocese of Madison's investigation, the findings will be presented to the Sexual Abuse Review Board, and their determination as to the allegation’s credibility will be presented to Bishop Donald Hying and announced publicly.
There is still an open investigation into Father William Nolan. The investigation is on-hold while a criminal trial occurs in Jefferson County. Nolan was placed on administrative leave since the allegation was made known to the Diocese of Madison.
The names of the priests or former priests of the Diocese of Madison with accusations deemed credible by the Sexual Abuse Review Board include: Archie Adams, Curtis Alvarez, J. Gibbs Clauder, Kenneth Klubertanz, Michael Trainor, Lawrence Trainor, Gerald Vosen, and John Eberhardy.
Bishop Hying released the following statement on Tuesday:
"While on the one hand, I am encouraged by and grateful for past efforts to be thorough and transparent in these matters, the addition of even one priest to the list of those credibly accused of such horrible acts and sins is one too many. I pledge to be open with regard to any future credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors made against clergy, to maintain continued vigilance to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable people in the Church, and to continue to pray and extend compassion to all who have suffered the terrible scourge of abuse.”