Archbishop Jerome Listecki’s attempt to silence Father James Connell and deprive him of his ministry to hear confessions is a disgrace. Father Connell has been an important voice urging everyone to understand the complex history of confession and the care that must be taken with this powerful sacrament, lest it be used to facilitate sexual abuse. By trying to silence Father Connell, Archbishop Listecki is showing that he is ignorant of the history and careless about the danger.
Father Connell is a church lawyer with deep knowledge and experience with confession. In fact, when a Milwaukee priest, Father Lawrence Murphy, used confession repeatedly to find potential victims and sexually assault them, sometimes during confession, Father Connell was selected to investigate the case. This was the worst case of confessional abuse in Milwaukee, and one of the worst known cases in the history of Catholicism – and Father Connell…
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