Letter to editor: Reports of abuse need investigation — Father James Connell

Wisconsin State Journal [Madison WI]

July 22, 2021

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced in April a statewide initiative to review reports of clergy and faith leader sexual abuse in Wisconsin. The initiative has begun with a review of the five Catholic dioceses in the state along with a review of some of the Catholic religious orders operating in those dioceses. 

Finally, I thought, we had an independent review that could vindicate the claims of clergy sexual abuse victims/survivors, while also giving the church an opportunity to clear its name and repair its reputation.

Yet in June, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki cried foul, claiming the attorney general is exceeding his “legal authority to conduct such an investigation” and that the investigation “is directly targeting only the Catholic Church.” 

This unfortunate position of the archbishop notwithstanding, the attorney general must go forward with the review because without the whole and complete truth there can be no justice, and without justice there will be no healing.

Father James Connell, Milwaukee, priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee