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  2nd Man Says Priest Abused Him
Klubertanz Has Been on Leave from Pastor's Post in Lodi

By William R. Wineke
Wisconsin State Journal [Madison, WI]
August 17, 2002

A second man claims he was abused years ago by Lodi priest the Rev. Kenneth Klubertanz.

The man said Klubertanz abused him in 1968 when the accuser was 16 years old and the priest was associate pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Reedsburg, Bishop William Bullock, of the Madison Catholic Diocese, said Friday.

Klubertanz, most recently the pastor of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Lodi, has been on administrative leave since June 9, when a first claimant charged the priest had treated him inappropriately 27 years ago.

Diocesan spokesman Bill Brophy said Klubertanz has denied abusing either man.

Bullock referred both cases to the recently formed diocesan Review Board on Sexual Abuse. The board is headed by retired Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Roland Day. The board has not yet met but plans to do so soon.

Since both men asked not to be identified, Bullock has not referred the cases to civil authorities, Brophy said.

Klubertanz was a priest in Janesville at the time he allegedly had inappropriate contact with the first complainant, who said he was 13 years old at the time.

The two charges made against Klubertanz are the first filed since Bullock instituted a diocesan policy on sexual abuse in 1993, shortly after he was named bishop here.

That policy provides that when a priest is accused he will be put on administrative leave pending an investigation.

The diocesan sexual review board was appointed July 31 as a response to a policy developed in June by the nation's bishops in response to widespread accusations of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests.

One of the board's tasks is to "assess allegations of sexual abuse of children or minors by any priest or other church personnel and to advise the bishop of Madison as to whether the allegations appear to be credible."

The national policy further requires that, should allegations against a priest appear to be credible, the priest must be permanently removed from public ministry, no matter how many years ago the alleged actions took place.

However, Catholic World News, a respected Web site,reported Friday that the Vatican will reject the American bishops' plan unless it receives major revisions.

Vatican approval would be necessary to make the policy binding on all American Catholics. Individual bishops, however, could make their own decisions to follow the national recommendations even if the Vatican did not make them binding.

 
 

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