Group delivers whistleblower documents on clergy abuse

Associated Press [New York NY]

January 19, 2022

An advocacy group working to end clergy abuse in Wisconsin has delivered thousands of documents from Wisconsin’s five Catholic dioceses to the state attorney general, documents it says show a systemic coverup of abuse.

The documents were provided to Nate’s Mission by whistleblowers within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Diocese of Madison, La Crosse, Green Bay and Superior, the group said.

The group handed boxes of documents to state Attorney General Josh Kaul on Tuesday to further the investigation launched last year into clergy abuse, the Journal Sentine l reported.

“This is criminal evidence that we’re looking at right here. Evidence of sexual abuse of children over the past decades, evidence of sexual abuse over the past decades,” said Peter Isely, a Nate’s Mission member.

Kaul said the investigation continues, but no further information was available.

“The Wisconsin Department of Justice continues to encourage anyone with information about clergy and faith leader abuse to report,” Kaul said in a statement. “The goals of this independent review are to make sure that victim services are accessible to survivors, to stop future cases of abuse, and to get accountability where possible, and we are committed to following the facts wherever they lead.”

According the lists released by the dioceses, about 160 priests have been named as having substantiated claims against them in Wisconsin. The Superior Diocese has not yet released a list of credibly accused abusers.

Nate’s Mission is named for Nate Lindstrom who accused multiple priests at St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere of sexually abusing him in the 1980s. He died by suicide in 2020, nearly one year after the abbey stopped sending secret payments he received for 10 years.