OF GREEN BAY WI
Accused Diocesan Priests: 35
Total Diocesan Priests: 819
Alleged Victims: 59
In five other cases, charges were dropped either by authorities or the alleged victims.
Cost: $1.356 million
Of this, $1.065 million was paid by insurance in three cases against one priest in the 1980s who served prison time. The remaining money was used for therapy and counseling
Accused Priests at St. Norbert Abbey: 16 (of which 4 allegations dropped)
Total Abbey Priests: 267
Cost: Over $1 million
See the Dallas Morning News database entry on Emeritus Bishop Joseph Banks. The June 2002 database examined the records of bishops and identified those who had allowed accused priests to continue working or had otherwise protected priests accused of sexual abuse. The database is relevant to the bishops' "Nature and Scope" study because the bishops who prepared the surveys for the study are in many cases responsible for the "scope" of the problem.
Bishop David Zubik discusses local data for national report on abuse
Green Bay Diocesan Web Site
February 20, 2004
GREEN BAY, Wis. (Feb. 20, 2004) – The Most Rev. David A. Zubik, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, reported to the public important statistics about clergy sexual abuse of minors in the past 52 years.
From 1950 to 2002, 59 people have made allegations of abuse against 35 of the Diocese’s 819 priests and deacons who have served or are serving the Diocese.
“Of the 35, 15 are deceased, 15 have withdrawn or have been removed from priestly ministry, one is facing criminal charges, and four have been laicized – completely out of the priesthood,” Bishop Zubik said on Thursday. “In five other cases, charges were dropped either by the police or by the alleged victims.”
Bishop Zubik’s report is in advance of the John Jay Study, which will be released on Feb. 27. The Study was conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York – an independent, non-church entity – and was commissioned by the National Review Board of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. John Jay College received and compiled data from 95 percent of the U.S. dioceses regarding the number of victims and alleged victims, the number of accused clergy and the dollars paid for victims. Since the John Jay Study will not list data from individual dioceses, but rather will compile the data, Bishop Zubik chose to disclose the numbers for the Diocese of Green Bay.
“The reason that I wanted to (release the data before Feb. 27) was to avoid confusion, as this report impacts our local Church as well,” said Bishop Zubik.
Since 1950, the Diocese of Green Bay has paid approximately $1,356,000 for victims. Of this amount – $1,065,500 – was paid by insurance to settle claims in three cases against one priest in the mid-1980s.
“The priest served prison time and has been out of the priesthood since,” said Bishop Zubik. “More importantly, the remaining money was used to provide much needed assistance to victims for therapy and counseling.” The money used for counseling and settlements came from insurance and investments, not from parish monies, diocesan operations or contributions, he added.
“Any report of this nature is sad,” he said. “One case of sexual abuse of a minor by anyone, especially by a priest or deacon, is one too many. This report does not undo the pain and suffering for those who were victimized. This report does not take away the harm and devastation for those families affected by abuse. But what this report does do, I believe and hope you do too, is take a second important national step on the road to alleviating this societal problem and restoring trust in the Catholic Church. In the eyes of God, in the eyes of society, in the eyes of the Church, sexual abuse of anyone is intolerable. As Bishop of this Diocese, I am committed and determined to work even further to end sexual abuse and to regain trust in the Catholic Church.”
Bishop Zubik then recapped the Diocese’s efforts to combat sexual abuse. In the last year, more than 7,700 background checks have been conducted. This includes all diocesan priests, deacons, employees, and volunteers who have regular contact with minors. Additionally, more than 6,000 of these people have participated in the three and one-half hour safe environment training program. The program tells how to recognize warning signs of potential sex abusers; how to detect signs of sexual abuse in children, young people and vulnerable adults; and what action is to be taken when those signs are discovered.
“Those who choose not to complete the background check and the training course are not able to serve in this Diocese as an employee or volunteer for a parish, school or other institution,” said Bishop Zubik. “The Diocese has a responsibility to assure parents that their children who are entrusted to the care of the Church are in safe environments.”
For those who have been abused, the Bishop says he is committed to promoting healing and reconciliation. “The Diocese has met and will continue to meet with victims to listen to their concerns and offer any needed assistance. I have already met with victims as well as with representatives of a survivors’ group and I will continue to do so.”
He also reiterated the Diocese’s stance on processing allegations.
“To guarantee an effective response to allegations of sexual abuse of minors, this Diocese does turn over and will continue to turn over first-party reports of sexual abuse directly to the civil authorities. We will continue to encourage those reporting allegations of abuse to us to contact the civil authorities as well, and we will continue to update our diocesan sexual abuse policies.”
Lastly, the Bishop suggested that, while the Study quantifies a “very sad chapter in the history of the Catholic Church,” his hope is for the Study to aid in the healing of victims and to serve as a useful tool for broader society.
“The John Jay Study is a groundbreaking study centered on sexual abuse of minors. I need to remind you that this tragedy is not limited to the Catholic Church. It is a pervasive problem in all of society. I encourage civic, community and other church denominations to review this Study so that we can work together to bring an end to this problem.”
More information can be found at the diocese’s web site: www.gbdioc.org.
HOW TO REPORT SEX ABUSE
The numbers, covering the period from 1950 to 2002, are part of a study
being conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City
University of New York. The study was commissioned by the U.S. Conference
of Catholic Bishops with the national figures to be released Feb. 27.
The numbers, Zubik said, are these:
Of those 35, 15 have died, 15 no longer have priestly duties but have not officially been taken out of the priesthood, one is facing criminal charges and four have been laicized - removed from the priesthood entirely.
Zubik explained the process of laicization is a lengthy one and that priests involved in abuse cases are removed from all duties immediately.
The diocese has paid out approximately $1.356 million for victims, mostly through insurance. Of this, $1.065 million was paid by insurance in three cases against one priest in the 1980s who served prison time. The remaining money was used for therapy and counseling, Zubik said.
"The money came from insurance and investments, not from parish monies, nor from diocesan operations, nor from contributions," the bishop said at a Thursday news conference.
Also released Thursday was a listing of incidents related to St. Norbert Abbey, which also participated in the study.
Its findings: Over the 111 years of the abbey, 16 of 267 priests were accused of sexual misconduct with children. Most of the accusations relate to events more than 20 years ago, with some as long as 50 years ago. There have been 54 allegations, nearly half of them against two priests, one dead and the other out of the priesthood.
Four of the allegations were dropped, and in a statement, Abbot Gary J. Neville said that "several are deemed questionable."
Of the 16 accused priests, eight have died, three are no longer in the Premonstratensian Order and five are still members but no longer function in active ministry, Neville said. Financial costs including settlement costs, attorneys fees and counseling have been in excess of $1 million, most covered by liability insurance.
Zubik started his news conference by "apologizing to those hurt in any way" by the actions of anyone in the diocese.
He said he had no numbers to compare the Green Bay figures to any other diocese.
In a statement, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests called the release of the information "a long overdue step" but said Zubik should have made more information public.
"The bishop needs to make a public record of the names and offfenses these men committed," the statement said.
"Bishop Zubik should do what several other church leaders have done, put the molester's names up on the diocese's Web site and beg his flock to call the law if they experienced, witnessed or suspected any abusive behavior, no matter when it took place and no matter who the perpetrator is."
The diocese has instructions on its Web site, and has printed in its paper and sent to parishes, names of people inside and outside of the diocese who would take reports and a statement that people may report directly to local authorities.
Zubik said he thought the release of the study could help in fighting abuse not only in the church, but in all areas.
"This is a scientific study that can help us all to grapple with the issue," he said.
He said the diocese was working to halt any further chances for abuse with required background checks for priests and other individuals working with youth as well as education in Catholic schools.
"We are taking the matter seriously," he said. "We are doing everything we can to eradicate the problem."
Neville also issued an apology as part of his statement.
"We cannot erase the pain of those who have been victimized, and to them, I apologize on behalf of the order," he said. "Our order, as a part of the Catholic church in the U.S., continues to struggle with the ugly, sad and painful reality of this history."
"If you know of an incident of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest
or deacon, please report it to Sr. Mary Bride Grubbs, victim assistance
coordinator of the diocese of Green Bay, at 1-877-500-3580 or 437-7531,
ext. 8174. If you prefer to report an incident to someone not employed
by the diocese, please call Bob Johnson, executive director of American
Foundation of Counseling Services in Green Bay and a facilitator who can
assist you in filing a report. Phone 437-8256."
Green Bay diocese reports 59 sexual abuse allegations in 52-year span
February 19, 2004
GREEN BAY — There were 59 allegations of sexual abuse against 35 priests in the Diocese of Green Bay during the 52 years ending in 2002, the diocese said Thursday.
The diocese released the figures that are part of a study being conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York.
The national figures in the study commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are to be released Feb. 27.
Green Bay Bishop David Zubik said the diocese did not have to release numbers, as the national study will not include breakdowns by region or diocese. He said his diocese wanted to be transparent in handling the issue.
The diocese said charges were dropped either by authorities or the alleged victims in five other cases.
It said 15 of the 35 priests have died, 15 no longer have priestly duties but have not officially been taken out of the priesthood, one is facing criminal charges and four have been removed from the priesthood entirely.
Zubik said the latter process, known as laicization, is a lengthy one but priests involved in abuse cases are removed from all duties immediately.
The diocese said it has paid out approximately $1.356 million for victims, mostly through insurance. That included $1.065 million paid by insurance in three cases during the 1980s against one priest who served prison time.
The remaining money was used for therapy and counseling, the bishop said.
The funds came from insurance and investments, not from parish funds, diocesan operations or contributions, he said.
Zubik said 819 priests served the diocese during the 52 years studied.
It was also disclosed Thursday that 16 of 267 priests who served at St. Norbert Abbey had been accused of sexual misconduct with children during that establishment’s 111 years.
There have been 54 allegations, nearly half of them against two priests, one dead and the other out of the priesthood, the report said.
Four of the allegations were dropped, and Abbot Gary J. Neville said several are deemed questionable.
Of the 16 accused priests, eight have died, three are no longer in the Premonstratensian Order and five are still members but no longer function in active ministry, Neville said.
Financial costs, including settlement costs, attorneys fees and counseling, were listed as being in excess of $1 million, most covered by liability insurance.
Zubik said he had no numbers to compare the Green Bay figures to any other diocese.
The bishop said he thought the release of the study could help in fighting abuse not only in the church, but in all areas. He apologized to those hurt in any way by the actions of anyone in the diocese.
Neville also issued an apology as part of his statement.
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
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