Addressing False Implications

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee

Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop Of Milwaukee

Since my return from Rome last week, I have been catching up on all the things that happened while I was away for the ad limina trip and the consistory where my friend and predecessor Timothy M. Dolan was elevated to the office of Cardinal.

The first thing that confronted me was the media coverage of the archdiocese’s Chapter 11 proceeding and statements made about the number of abuse claims filed and the safety of children in the Church today.

Any instance of sexual abuse of a minor is a disgusting sin and a horrible crime. My heartfelt apology goes out to anyone who has been harmed. When Pope Benedict visited the United States in April 2008, he rightly referred to the sexual abuse of children by priests as “evil” and a “sin,” acknowledging that the crisis was “sometimes very badly handled by Church leaders.”

However, statements reported as facts in the media, go beyond the adversarial rhetoric we have come to expect in this proceeding. On top of that, several state legislators, without having access to factual information regarding any of the claims, compounded the issue by calling for the state attorney general to investigate, unaware that both old and new claims have been turned over to and been reviewed by district attorneys for more than a decade.

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