This deposition was taken on June 5-6, 2008. It offers insights into the management of abuse cases by Archbishop William E. Cousins (1958-1977) and Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland (1977-2002).

Weakland discusses in detail the cases of convicted abuser Rev. Siegfried Widera (who continued to molest boys in California after Weakland excardinated him there) and admitted abuser Rev. Franklyn Becker (who molested boys in the Milwaukee parishes and hospitals where Weakland assigned him).

The deposition also examines the Marcoux revelations, which caused the Vatican to accept Weakland's resignation. Weakland talks at length about his attitudes, policies, and programs during 25 years as archbishop, and provides brief assessments of a dozen other abuse cases.

This webpage offers a convenient version of the deposition, designed so that readers can read it easily, do searches, and view exhibits while they read. Below on this page we offer our own table of contents, the list of document exhibits with links to the exhibits added, and the full text of the deposition with added photos and links to all the exhibits. These enhancements are clearly distinguished from the text of the deposition, which was created from the version posted on the website of Jeff Anderson & Associates. You may search the full text of the deposition on this page by using the search function in your browser (in Internet Explorer, type control-F, type the word you wish to search, and click enter).

We occasionally provide links to materials referenced in the text, and we offer additional information on several issues, carefully marking these additions with square brackets. For an alternative history of much that is discussed here by Archbishop Weakland, see Peter Isely and Jim Smith, The Sexual Abuse of Children in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, February 10, 2004.

Excerpts of the deposition have been posted on YouTube by Jeff Anderson & Associates. Click the images below to view the videos. If you wish to follow along as you watch the videos, we have created a transcript of the video excerpts.

Video excerpts from pages 1 to 199 of the Weakland deposition.   Video excerpts from pages 199 to 312 of the Weakland deposition.

See also PDFs of the original deposition (pp. 1-77, 78-157, 158-237, and 238-321) and of the 43 exhibits (Nos. 101-132, 300, 301-313, 315-410, 412, 412-A, 413-1005).


This table of contents was created by to facilitate your use of the deposition, and was not part of the original. We have aimed to make the titles of each section neutral and helpful—the wording is ours, and not the work of any participants in the deposition. We have not inserted these section titles in the text of the deposition, but if you click on a section title in the table of contents, you will scroll down to that section.

Examination by Jeffrey Anderson 7

Background 8
     • Weakland's Situation in 2008 8
     • Weakland's Early Awareness of the Abuse Problem 11
     • Weakland's Realization in 1985 That Abuse Was Prevalent 18
     • Deposition Protocols for Names of Offenders and Victims 20
     • More about Weakland's Early Knowledge 24
     • No Encounter with Abuse in Weakland's Time As Benedictine Primate 28
     • Solicitation in the Confessional and Canon Law 30
     • Weakland's Understanding Evolves As Archbishop 37
     • Weakland Speaks with Vatican about Abuse in about 1992 40
     • Abuse Policies into the Early 1980s and Rev. Lawrence Murphy 50
     • Were the Bishops "On Notice" about Abuse after 1985? 60
     • Monitoring of Accused Priests 63
     • Did Weakland or His Officials Ever Report Abuse to Civil Authorities? 67
     • Weakland Faults Civil Authorities in Widera Case 72
     • District Attorney and the Case of Rev. Jerome Wagner 74
     • Civil Authorities, Access to Files, and the Rev. Peter Burns Case 79
     • Archdiocese Arranges with Jerry Boyle to Represent Accused Priests 81
     • Parishioners Not Warned about Wagner and Weakland on Calvinism 84
     • Legal System Not Conducive to Healing and Monitoring 85
     • Archdiocesan Secrecy and American Catholic Culture 86
     • Priest Files and Secret Archives under Cousins and Weakland 90
     • Weakland Didn't Discuss Abuse Cases with Cousins and Dolan 92
     • Supervision of Priests Was Delegated 94
     • Policies for Supervising Priests Who Abuse 96
     • Rev. Bruce MacArthur 99

Rev. Siegfried Widera 100
     • Weakland Faults Judge and Prosecutor 100
     • Police Narrative: Widera Admits in 1973 That He Had Boys Sodomize Him 102
     • Weakland Says He Learned about Widera in 1981 103
     • Widera Pleads Guilty in 1973 and Gets Three Years Probation 107
     • Pastor Describes Widera's Behavior in 1973 109
     • Police Incident Report: Details of 1973 Abuse 112
     • Positive 1974 Feedback at Next Parish, Not Informed of Widera's Previous Crime 114
     • Probation, Transfer, and Scandal 119
     • Treatment of Widera and Effinger and Failure to Warn Parishioners 121
     • Concern for Victims Not Mentioned in Archdiocesan File 134
     • Effort to "Keep the Lid on" a Mother's 1976 Allegation 136
     • Parishioners Kept in the Dark 144
     • Protecting Widera and the Archdiocese at the Peril of the Children 148
     • Widera Discharged from Probation 151
     • Widera Leaves the Parish under the Guise of a Vacation 152
     • Widera Offered Treatment and Return to Milwaukee, or Transfer to Another Diocese 153
     • Letter from Cousins to Orange Bishop: "Not Even Code" about Widera 155
     • Coded Language among Bishops about Abuse 158
     • No Notice to Parishioners: Weakland on Bishops' Decisionmaking 160

Rev. Franklyn Becker 167
     • Weakland's First Suspicion Regarding the Boy on the Cruise 168
     • Was Weakland a Mandated Reporter? 171
     • Mother's Complaint to Chancery in 1970 173
     • Becker's 1978 Introductory Letter to Weakland 176
     • Exchange with Bishop Maher in 1979 about Becker's Return from California 177
     • Dr. Gillette's Report and Weakland's Awareness 182
     • Church Law vs. Manifestation of Conscience Prevented Weakland from Asking Becker about Abuse 183
     • Becker's 1980 Admission of Abuse to Weakland 187
     • Correspondence about Unrestricted Transfers in 1980 192
     • Parishioners Not Informed 197
     • Fitness for Parish Work, Celibacy, and Sexual Abuse 200
     • Vicar's Log for 1980-81: Abuse Allegation 204
     • Becker and Abuse As Possible Subject of 1981 Newspaper Series 209
     • Becker Signs 1981 Letter on Celibacy Requested by Weakland 221
     • Vicar's Log for 1982: Becker Grooms Boy and Takes Another on a Cruise 223
     • Gillette Report in 1983 Citing Becker's Abuse of Boys 227
     • Vicar's Log for 1983: Archdiocese Consults DA McMann 231
     • Weakland in 1983 Threatens Suspension if Becker Reoffends in Hospital Chaplaincy 236
     • Cardinal Sepe Is the Vatican Official with Whom Weakland Discussed Abuse 240
     • Mother Alleges Suspicious Behavior in 1990 with Boy in Hospital Chaplaincy 243
     • Vicar's Log for 1992: Becker Helps at Parish 245
     • Weakland Allows Becker to Minister on Cruise 252
     • Letter from Becker's Therapist about Admitted Abuse 253
     • Weakland Meets Becker in 1997 about Work in Other Parishes 257

Background and Context 259
     • Managers Who Worked on Abuse Cases 259
     • Other Accused Priests 261
          • George A. Nuedling 261
          • Dennis A. Pecore 262
          • Eldred B. Lesniewski 265
          • William J. Effinger 266
          • David J. Hanser 268
          • James M. Godin 269
          • Michael J. Krejci 270
          • Eugene T. Kreuzer 271
          • Richard W. Nichols 272
          • Thomas A. Trepanier 274
          • Jerome A. Wagner 275
     • Archdiocesan Taxing Costs against Victims in SOL-Dismissed Cases 277
     • Priest Shortage 277
     • Weakland and Marcoux 278

Examination by John A. Rothstein 285
     • Deacon McGuine and the Third Way 286
     • Leander Foley's Review of Abuse Files 286
     • Project Benjamin and Weakland's Biography 288
     • Lloyd Sinclair's Briefing and Group 290
     • More about Project Benjamin 292
     • Eisenberg Commission 292
          • Including Johnstone's Role in Effinger Case 296
     • Review by Judge John Fiorenza Considered 312
     • Listening Sessions 313
     • Evaluation and Treatment of Accused Priests 316

Examination by Jeffrey Anderson 318
     • Lack of Disclosure to Parishioners by Various Projects and Commissions 318


                                    STATE OF WISCONSIN

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          -vs-                                                                Case No. 05-CV-1351



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          -vs-                                                                File No. 07-CV-008390



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          -vs-                                                                File No. 2007-CV-10888,



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JUNE 5th AND 6th, 2008 [page 2 begins]

Video examination of ARCHBISHOP REMBERT G. WEAKLAND, taken at the instance of the Plaintiffs, under and pursuant to Section 804.05 of the Wisconsin Statutes, before MELISSA J. STARK, a Certified Realtime Reporter, Registered Professional Reporter and Notary Public in and for the State of Wisconsin, at Foley & Lardner, 777 East Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 5 and June 6, 2008, commencing at 9:39 a.m. on June 5th and adjourning at 4:53 p.m. on June 5th and reconvening on June 6th at 9:03 a.m. and concluding on June 6th at 11:13 a.m.

* * * * * *


366 Jackson, Suite 100,
St. Paul, Minnesota 55101,,
appeared on behalf of the Plaintiffs.

15460 West Capitol Drive,
Brookfield, Wisconsin 53005,,
appeared on behalf of the Plaintiffs.

777 East Wisconsin Avenue,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202,
appeared on behalf of Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland. [page 3 begins]

411 East Wisconsin Avenue,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202,,
appeared on behalf of the Defendant Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

740 Regent Street, Suite 400,
Madison, Wisconsin 53701-1507,,
appeared on behalf of the Defendant Diocese of Sioux Falls.

N14 W23755 Stone Ridge Drive, Suite 150,
P.O. Box 1109,
Waukesha, Wisconsin 53187-1109,,
appeared on behalf of Commercial Union.


Mr. John Spohnholtz, Videographer.

* * * * *


Examination:                                        Page

By Mr. Anderson....................................    7
By Mr. Anderson.................................... 239
By Mr. Rothstein.................................... 285
By Mr. Anderson.................................... 318

Exhibit Identified Page
No. B Priests Suspected Of Abuse 23
No. A Doe List 23
No. 101 Log [of archdiocesan personnel department about Rev. Siegfried Widera, 1976-77] 135
No. 102 Offense Narrative [7/1/73] [page 4 begins] 102
No. 103 Entry Of A Plea Of Guilty [7/16/73] 107
No. 103B Judgment Of Conviction And A Sentence Withheld [8/13/73] 107
No. 104 Archdiocesan Personnel Board Regarding Widera [8/14/73] 107
No. 105 September 3rd, '73, Conversation With Father Rolland Glass 109
No. 106 February 12th, 1974, Letter To Father Theisen From Mrs. Neill Flood 115
No. 107 Response From Father Theisen To Mrs. Flood Dated February 19th, '74 116
No. 108 Handwritten Letter From Agn[e]s Moran To John Theisen [2/20/74] 117
No. 114 Two-Page Letter From Leo Graham To Robert Sampon [1/29/76] 130
No. 115 Discharge From Probation [8/5/76] 151
No. 117 Letter From Reverend Waldbauer For The Priest Personnel Board Written To Leo Graham Dated October 8th, 1976 152
No. 119 October 29th, '76, Letter From John Waldbauer To Father Widera 153
No. 120 December 20th, 1976, Letter From Archbishop Cousins To The Then Bishop Of Orange, Reverend William Johnson 155
No. 132 West Allis Police Department Incident Report [2002] 113
No. 300 Log That Has Been Represented To Be A Part Of The Archdiocese File [of Rev. Franklyn Becker 1980-2003] [5.3 megabyte file; also available as three smaller files for easier download 1 2 3] 204
No. 301 Memo From Father Robert Sampon [Fall 1970] 173
No. 303 February 16th, 1978, Letter Addressed From Father Becker To Archbishop Weakland 176
No. 304 January 30th, 1979, Letter To Bishop Maher From Archbishop Weakland 177
No. 305 Response From Bishop Maher To Archbishop Weakland Dated February 5th, 1979 180
No. 306 Three Pages From Franklyn Becker Addressed To Archbishop Weakland [2/11/80] 187
No. 307 February 22, 1980, Letter To Father Vint 192
No. 308 April 11th, 1980, Letter To Franklyn Becker From Archbishop Weakland 194
No. 309 June 23rd, 1980, Letter From Chancellor Sampon To Franklyn Becker 197
No. 312 August 2, 1981, Letter From Franklyn Becker To Archbishop Weakland [page 5 begins] 221
No. 313 Document From Psychology Associates [Medical and Psychological Evaluation of Rev. Franklyn W. Becker 2/21/83] 227
No. 315 August 13, 1983, Letter To Franklyn Becker From Archbishop Weakland 237
No. 317 Handwritten Note Dated 7/16/90 243
No. 321 Typewritten Note To Archbishop Weakland From Barbara Anne Cusack [1/14/94] 252
No. 327 July 19, 1996, Letter To Archbishop Weakland From Liz Piasecki 253
No. 329 January 30th, 1997, Letter From Reverend Straub 257
No. 400 Article Entitled, "Churches Face Major Issues In The '80s" [6/1/81] 209
No. 401 Article Entitled, "Three Catholic Priests Tell Of Struggle With Personal, Career Problems" [6/4/81] 217
No. 410 List Of The Priests Against Whom Credible Allegations Had Been Made Where It Was Made Public As A Result Of The Charter In 2002 [7/9/04; updated 11/26/07] 275
No. 412 Latin Version Called Instructio [de Modo Procedendi in Causis Sollicitationis, 1962] [5.6 megabyte file; also available as three smaller files that are easier to download 1 2 3] 32
No. 412A Instruction On The Manner Of Proceeding In Cases Of Solicitation [1962] [7.1 megabyte file; also available as four smaller files for easier download 1 2 3 4] 32
No. 413 Bishop Accountability [Settlement Agreement between Paul Marcoux and Archbishop Weakland 7/6/98] 279
No. 414 Article That Appeared In The New York Times June 1st, 2002 [excerpt of Archbishop Weakland's Apology 5/31/02; see also the full text of Weakland's apology] 283
No. 1000 Statement From The Marquette Law School Website About Dean Eisenberg [2002] 293
No. 1001 Preliminary Report That Dean Eisenberg Was Able To Issue [4/26/02] 298
No. 1002 An Article Published Publicly By The Catholic H[e]rald On September 19th, 2002 [see also a more legible version of this article, Eisenberg Commission Releases Final Report] 310
No. 1004 May 16 Listening Sessions Materials [5/10/02] 313
No. 1005 Archdiocesan Listing Of All The Names Of Archdiocesan Priests With Substantiated Claims [7/9/04] 315

Disposition Of Original Exhibit/s:
All Original Exhibits Were Attached To The Original Transcript. [page 6 begins]


(All exhibits were previously marked.)

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We are on the record at 9:39 a.m. Today's date is June 5th, 2008. This is disk number one in the deposition of Archbishop Rembert Weakland. This deposition is being taken in the matter of Does, et al., versus Archdiocese of Milwaukee and Archdiocese of Sioux Falls. This matter is pending in the Circuit Court, Civil Division of Milwaukee County, Case No. 05-CV-1351 and File Nos. 07-CV-008390 and 2007-CV-10888.
       This deposition is taking place at the offices of Foley & Lardner, located at 777 East Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My name is John Spohnholtz, videographer for Brown & Jones Reporting, and the court reporter is Melissa Stark. Will counsel please state their appearances and whom they represent, beginning with plaintiffs' counsel, and then the reporter will swear in the witness.

MR. ANDERSON: For the Does, Jeff Anderson.

MR. FINNEGAN: Mike Finnegan for the Does.

MR. HENDERSON: Kevin Henderson, local [page 7 begins] counsel for the Does.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: For the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, it's John Rothstein.

MR. MUTH: Also for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, David Muth.

MS. BENEDON: For the Archdiocese of Sioux Falls, Carrie Benedon.

MR. NELSON: For Commercial Union, Mark Nelson.

MR. SHRINER: My name is Tom Shriner. I represent Archbishop Weakland.

ARCHBISHOP REMBERT G. WEAKLAND, called as a witness herein, having been first duly sworn on oath, was examined and testified as follows:

Q Good morning, Archbishop. Would you please state your full name for the record?
A Rembert George Weakland.

Q Archbishop, we just met. As you know, my name is Jeff Anderson. I am one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs in these actions whom we're referring to for most purposes as the Does. Would you prefer that I refer to you as Archbishop or Your Excellency? [page 8 begins]
A Whatever is most comfortable for you, Jeff.

[Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland in 1980, a few years after he became archbishop of Milwaukee.]
Q All right. I'll use Archbishop, if that's okay.
A Okay.

Q I know you've been through this before, and so you understand that every question that I ask and any answer you provide is being recorded by the stenographer here and also on videotape. So that the stenographer can get it all down, try to wait for me to finish my question before you begin your answer, and then I'll try to do the same so that we don't talk over one another.
A Fine.

Q Should you not understand any question I ask, just let me know and I'll try to make it clear. Okay?
A Fine.

Q And if at any time should you wish to take a break for any reason, just feel free.
A Fine.

Q In terms of your current situation, I know you are retired. What is your current situation? Where do you live and what activities are you engaged in currently in association with the Archdiocese?
A I live at a retirement community called Wilson Commons on the south side of Milwaukee, and I've lived there now for about a year-and-a-half. [page 9 begins] Before that I lived at Cousins Center, but since they're selling Cousins Center, I moved to Wilson Commons, and I have mass there every day, which a few people come, and on weekends I go out to several of the mother houses of nuns, and that's about all I do for the Archdiocese as such.

Q And you help the nuns of various orders of religious sisters?
A I go every Sunday to the same sisters, which are the Lake Franciscans, very close to Cousins Center.

Q And what do you do in connection with them?
A I have Sunday mass.

Q Okay. Currently do you have any health issues that prevent you from being able to understand the questions and the -- and able to give answers in this deposition today, such as medication, some mental impairments or anything like that?
A Well, I -- no, I don't know of any.

Q Okay. Do you take any medication that affects memory or anything like that?
A No.

Q Okay. Okay. Archbishop, by my calculation, you have been a priest for over 56 years?
A 57.

Q 57 years. And in that time you have served [page 10 begins] certainly in many capacities, ordained a benedictine, correct?
A Right.

Q And worked as a superior, as a chancellor and then --
A I have never been a chancellor.

Q Oh, I thought you were a chancellor at St. Vincent.
A Oh, that's chancellor of a college. That's different.

Q Than chancellor of a diocese.
A Right.

Q Okay. And you also were appointed abbot primate of the Benedictine Order Worldwide, correct?
A I was elected abbot primate, yes, by the abbots of the world.

Q In order to be elected, is that by the worldwide community or the -- all the superiors of the community?
A That would be all of the abbots of the world, which were about 220.

Q In order to be on the slate for election, does the See nominate or have any role in that process?
A The Holy See?

Q Yes.
A No. [page 11 begins]

Q In your 57 years as a priest and having served in many positions in that time, reflecting on that, Archbishop, when in time do you believe you first became aware that there was a problem of priests abusing children?
A Already when I was in high school I knew that this happened rarely. Before I even went away to high school, I went to boarding school, my pastor called me in and warned me about it, so I could say that at least vaguely I knew that kind of thing happened. Before that I --

Q I'm going to stop you right there because you mentioned something I just wanted to follow up on. I'm sorry for interrupting. You said that in high school you first became aware and then at some point a pastor warned you about that?
A A pastor warned me before I went to high school.

Q Before you went to high school?
A Right.

Q Who was that pastor?
A Bertrand McFadden.

Q And this goes back a few years, but what year would that have been that he would have warned you before you went to high school that --
A 1944. [page 12 begins]

Q And tell us the circumstances of him having warned you that there's a possible problem of abuse by priests of minors.
A I can't put it that way. I'd have to say he warned me about one priest, who when I got to high school found that that priest was not there, so I probably didn't meet that priest until many, many years later.

Q Did you have a relationship to Pastor McFadden at that time as a mentor of some kind?
A I could write a book on that one because he was a very difficult Irish pastor, very brilliant but very kind. We were on relief, the family. There were six kids and my mother, and he hired my mother to teach in the Catholic school, which was very rare in the '30s, and then knowing that we would lose the welfare check, had her volunteer and then paid in kind so that every morning we would find food on our back porch. So he took care of our needs as a family for several years.
       Then he would hire me to do interesting things, like write names in the baptismal record and pay me 20 bucks, which I could take home to mother, or he would have me cut the grass and pay me 20 bucks, which as a kid when you're 10, [page 13 begins] 12-years-old was -- and for us living on 30 some dollars a month, that was big money. I was afraid of him because he was typically, what should I say, aloof but very kind to us, so that was my relationship to the pastor.

Q And the priest about whom he warned you and -- who was that?
A I can't remember his last name, but I could remember his first name, but I don't know that that's --

MR. SHRINER: Is he still living?
THE WITNESS: No, he is dead.

Q Why don't we just use the first name Father X.
A Alcuin.

Q Alcuin. Okay. It turned out Father Alcuin was not at the school?
A Right.

Q But based on the warning given you by Father McFadden, you would have known and your parents would have known to stay away from him, correct, that is from Alcuin?
A If I had -- if he had been at the school, I would have stayed away from him, yes.

Q And is it fair to say that based on what Father [page 14 begins] McFadden told you in 1944 at the age of 10, 11 or 12, that in effect he told you Father Alcuin is not safe to be around alone, correct?
A Yes, he would have told me that.

Q And he also told you -- or at least conveyed to you in so many words that he may pose a risk of harm to you, may try to hurt you by abusing you?
A He didn't say that.

Q What did he say?
A He just said to be aware of this priest, and I don't know that I understood what he meant totally. Up until then my mother had always told me never get in the car with a strange person, all this kind of thing, but it had nothing to do with sexual abuse, as I think back about my mother. It had more to do with the Linberg (phonetic) case. We would always laugh at mother when she said this to us, not getting in the car with strangers. Nobody would pay a penny for us poor ragamuffins. We didn't take it too seriously.

Q In any case, Father McFadden imparted enough information to you about Father Alcuin for you to know that you couldn't trust him?
A That would have been it, yeah.

Q And it's fair to say that as a then good Catholic [page 15 begins] boy, you were taught to trust priests?
A Oh, we had enough pastors in that time and also there were other Catholic churches in the town. I was the organist in the slovak church that changed pastors regularly. I think trust is not perhaps the word. Each one was different.

Q You were taught at least in your catechisms and in your Catholic teachings that priests were special?
A I don't know that we'd even say that. My mother was very Irish and she complained a lot about priests and at home wasn't reluctant to humanize them greatly, but if a Protestant did that, that was another story.

Q Right.
A She would defend on her church at all costs.

Q And that's another conversation --
A That's another conversation.

Q -- not for today. In any case, when Father McFadden warned you about Father Alcuin, did you tell your mom, "Hey, mom, father had told me there's a priest I need to be wary of"?
A No. I don't remember at that moment ever talking to my mother about it.

Q Did you ever tell anybody that Father McFadden had warned you about Father Alcuin, to stay away from [page 16 begins] him?
A It's very difficult with the word never. I can't remember ever telling anybody about that.

Q Given the nature of what Father McFadden said to you back then, the warning that he gave you, did you infer that it had something to do with Alcuin not being sexually safe towards boys, namely you?
A I would have to answer yes to that.

Q Fair enough. When would have been the next time then, Archbishop, that you would have come to believe that there was some kind of problem with priests abusing children or being at risk for abusing children?
A When I was a junior in high school.

Q And that year approximately?
A 1943.

Q And what happened there?
A You know how kids talk in the corridors or out for a smoke and there was talk about one of the priests molesting boys, one of the professors, and I was not touched, there was no doubt about that, but I also was among the ones who felt that those who had been molested should go to the superior and report this. So we had a big discussion on that, and finally those who were molested did talk to the -- [page 17 begins] we didn't call him headmaster. I don't remember what we did call him. Father Vitus was his name, V-I-T-U-S, and again I don't remember his last name. That might be partly psychological because I didn't like him, but he was also a civil lawyer. That's another story. I don't want to embarrass anybody, but he was a civil lawyer as well as the headmaster, or whatever you want to call him, and not a man that I thought understood boys. That's either here nor there, and so a group did go to see Father Vitus about this.
       I remember he called in every kid in the high school, in the section that dealt with us who were going on -- or thought we might go on for priesthood. He did talk to each one, and I can't tell you to this day how he made his decisions. Some of the boys left the school immediately. Some of the boys went on to the end of the year and some of them -- and I don't mean big numbers here -- some of them stayed and went on, left on their own years later. So that was the first major time when I -- again, I saw this as an individual person, as I did Father Alcuin, not as a prevalent thing because there was so many wonderful priest teachers that were incredibly good to me and helpful in my [page 18 begins] life.

Q Was there a point in time, Archbishop, where you saw this, that is sexual abuse by priests, as a prevalent thing?
A As a --

Q Prevalent thing.
A I didn't see it as a prevalent thing until I became a bishop.

Q '77?
A '77.

Q Okay.
A Even during the years when I was the head of the Benedictine Order, which was 9,000 priests, I can't say that I knew or thought it was a prevalent thing.

Q What made you see it as a prevalent thing, that is sexual abuse by priests, when you became a bishop in '77?
A When I became a bishop, I expected that somewhere I would bump into it. I have to say that honestly, but I became aware of the prevalence of it in 19 -- I'll be precise -- 1985. I think for me 1985 was a turning point. It was the first time that the bishops at the Conference of Bishops, we were meeting at St. John's in Collegeville, actually [page 19 begins] talked openly about it and it became, I think, clear to me that this was not just something I had bumped into a few times in Milwaukee but it was a national phenomenon that had to be dealt with.

Q And that was in '85, the Catholic Conference of Bishops meeting in Collegeville, St. John's, where the topic was taken up?
A Right.

Q And a report was prepared, and I'll be asking you about that, but you had said that you saw it as -- and that was in '85. You had said you saw it as a prevalent thing when you first became bishop -- archbishop, and according to my records, that would have been in May of '77. What would have been in '77?
A Nothing I remembered from '77 was -- I wouldn't have known it right away when I arrived. The first big case that I had to deal with was '79, and it was Father Effinger, a public case, well-known. That would have been the first, and almost in succession there were two or three others at that point that I had to deal with so that I began to wonder.

Q What were those -- when you say -- excuse me. When you say you began to wonder, what were you about to [page 20 begins] say, Archbishop, I'm sorry?
A I began to wonder if it might be more prevalent than I felt it would be, but life goes on and we dealt with the cases that would come. It was only, I think, in '85 that I became convinced, that would be the best word, it was a more serious problem than I had first imaged.

Q Archbishop, I'll bring you back then to junior high where some of your friends and other kids were talking about a priest having molested them; is that correct?
A Yes.

Q And who was that priest that kids -- you said boys were talking about?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Jeff, maybe I should raise this. I didn't raise this with the first one, but it seems to make sense to me. We have a list here of various Jane Does and John Does for the plaintiffs in this action to protect their confidentiality, et cetera. This first priest, as I listen to the information, we don't know if that was substantiated or not. Archbishop Weakland just mentioned Father Effinger, who I believe was a public case, so I think that that was a substantiated one. [page 21 begins]
       My only concern here is that since we're dealing with confidentiality, I think where we have nonpublic unsubstantiated claims about priests who are not -- there's been no proof of that, et cetera, particularly if they're dead, there should be some equal treatment for their confidentiality for the same reasons. I don't know how to handle that, though.

MR. ANDERSON: Well, I think when we have, as the Archbishop has indicated, testimony or evidence that there are suspicions of sexual abuse by a priest, we're going to use the names, and if you feel that for some reason that's not appropriate, you can seek court relief to strike that from the record.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Well, I'll finish this, and then I don't want to butt in. This first one is a good example. Here we have one individual making a hearsay report to Archbishop Weakland. There's no substantiation apart from a statement from an individual. That would never be sufficient, I think. And, you know, it's one thing if there's a public dissemination of the name, but what I would hate to be is that every individual against whom there's any assertion, that that now [page 22 begins] becomes a public matter. So again, I don't know how to handle that, other than if it's public, my concern is, as I stated, that's not a concern at all, but for individuals who all we have is an unsubstantiated report, that's a problem.

MR. ANDERSON: I guess I need to know if you have a legal objection to the use of the name, John. If it is, give me the legal objection and maybe we'll deal with that.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Jeff, it would be the same legal objection as the plaintiffs in this case for the same reasons. I don't think there's a legal objection for Jane Doe, John Doe, et cetera. It's simply an accommodation that's made between the parties, and I'd ask for the same accommodation. That's all.

MR. ANDERSON: Okay. We did agree to seal and keep the names of victims on this Doe list in advance of the deposition and off the record. You're now asking for a similar accommodation essentially. Let's -- if the priest who is suspected of sexual abuse whose name has not been made public by newspaper accounts or otherwise, I will give you this accommodation to move this forward so that we can move it forward and keep [page 23 begins] what we call priests suspected of abuse, we'll call this one accommodation list and I'll number that one, two and then we can just fill that in.


MR. ANDERSON: And we'll call that Exhibit B and the Doe list will be called Exhibit A.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Thank you.

Q What I'm going to have you do as an accommodation is, if you would and if you can remember, the name of the priest who was suspected of molesting those boys, under number one, if you'd write that name.
A Number one, shall I put Alcuin or is that --


MR. ANDERSON: We've got Alcuin's name out there. That's enough.

THE WITNESS: So number one would be this --

MR. ANDERSON: Yeah, This would be in junior high.

MR. SHRINER: Junior year of high school.

MR. ANDERSON: I misspoke. I'm sorry.


MR. SHRINER: Can you read it, the [page 24 begins] handwriting?

MR. ANDERSON: I can, and I'll pass it around and then I just want you to know, John, that I'm not agreeing to not -- not agreeing to seal this. I'm agreeing to accommodate this process so that we can work together to get through this today as quickly and as easily as we can.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Thank you.

Q So we'll refer to that as priest one on Exhibit B. In that connection, how many boys would you estimate were either molested by him, how many kids?
A This could only be a guess on my part, but I would judge about 15.

Q And you were one of the ones that thought this should be kind of brought to the superior who may have been the headmaster but it was Father Vitus?
A Right.

Q And what made you think that that needed to be dealt with?
A Because I thought it was a serious matter.

Q And you would have been about 15 or 16-years-old?
A Yes.

Q And you and other boys then brought it to the -- [page 25 begins] whoever was in charge, Father Vitus?
A Right.

Q What happened to this priest, father -- priest one, after you and others reported it to Father Vitus?
A He left the high school, and I couldn't tell you what -- how it ended up at that time.

Q Was it the next day or the next week that he --
A Yes, immediate.

Q So he was pulled in mid year?
A (Witness nods head.)

Q Not in the ordinary course?
A In mid year.

Q Okay. And did you, Archbishop, ever hear anything more about that then as you progressed through formation, what happened to this priest number one after he was pulled from your school based on reports of abuse by you and others?
A I would have been a young -- I wouldn't have known much about it. I can say that his name occurred occasionally, and as far as -- this is memory back -- he was assigned to travel all over giving retreats, I don't know what -- with a group of priests. That's about as much as I know.

Q So you did learn that he was allowed to continue in ministry, correct? [page 26 begins]
A Oh, yes.

Q And to your knowledge, to this day did that priest's superiors or Father Vitus' superiors ever notify the community of faith that this priest, priest one, had abused many boys, up to 15 by your account?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: I simply show my objection to "community of faith" undefined.

THE WITNESS: I'm not quite sure how that would happen.

Q Well, did -- to your knowledge, to this day did any officials of the Archdiocese -- this was in Pennsylvania, wasn't it?
A Yes.

Q Excuse me. Did any officials of the -- what diocese was that?
A At that point it would have been under Pittsburgh.

Q And was that a benedictine school?
A The school was benedictine.

Q Okay. So in Pennsylvania or through the benedictines, to your knowledge did any of the superiors at that time release information to the public that a report of abuse had been made by you and others concerning priest number one? [page 27 begins]
A Not to my knowledge.

Q And before today and you having told us about what happened back in your junior year here, have you ever disseminated any information to anybody about this priest number one and what you learned about him having abused your friends and colleagues?
A When you say disseminate, could you clarify that for me?

Q Anybody outside the clerical culture, that is fellow priests and superiors.
A Outside of the clerical culture?

Q Yes.
A That's -- I'm not quite sure what that means, but I do not remember ever talking about that to anyone.

Q Okay. And when I say clerical culture, I'm referring to priests, diocesan and religious brothers, ordained clergy and officials of the orders and the diocese. Have you discussed that topic and what you learned and reported and the continuation of this priest in ministry after the report with other members of the clergy?
A I can't -- I can't remember that. I couldn't remember ever talking about it.

Q Okay. Do you know if this priest number one is still alive? [page 28 begins]
A To my knowledge, he's long dead.

Q Okay. And did you ever hear or receive information that he had continued to abuse youth in his ministry after you and others reported it to Father Vitus?
A I don't know of any case surfacing after that, and in all the recent publications and publicity of cases, I don't remember any case surfacing after that, no.

Q When would have been the next time, Archbishop, that you encountered -- let me back up. After this report was made by you and others and at the time this priest was removed in midterm, was any warning given by Father Vitus or his superiors to the public and the parishioners and the employees at the school that this guy had hurt kids?
A I can't answer that. I don't know of any.

Q Okay. So his departure from there was abrupt and quiet; is that a fair description?
A Yes.

Q When would have been the next time you encountered sexual abuse or suspicions of sexual abuse by a priest after this?
A I would have to say it was not until I became a bishop. [page 29 begins]

Q Okay. When you -- when you were elected abbot primate of the Benedictine Order Worldwide, I recall you having given testimony that you dealt with three cases of some kind in that capacity. Do you recall having done that?
A No --

Q Okay.
A -- I can't.

Q So as you sit here today, do you have any recollection of having had any other dealings with or suspicions of priests abusing kids before your appointment as archbishop in, I guess it was, November of 1977?
A I cannot think of any during the 10 years I was primate because I didn't deal with things of this sort, and I would not have come in contact with it.

Q As the abbot primate, was it your responsibility to bring allegations of sexual abuse concerning benedictines to the Office of the Holy See for disciplinary action?
A No.

Q Whose responsibility was that?
A The Benedictine Confederation is the word we use, and I have to explain that the Benedictine Order is not structured like the Jesuits. It's not [page 30 begins] militaristic in that sense. The Benedictine Order is a confederation of congregations, so there were 22 benedictine congregations around the world that confederated, and I was the head of the confederation. Each of the congregations had their own president, and such cases would have gone through his counsel and directly to the Holy See.

Q And did you have any role or contact with the congregation for the doctrine of faith or the investigation of priests suspected of sexual abuse while working as abbot primate?
A Nothing.

Q You had worked in Rome at some time as a part of your formation, two different times, I believe, correct?
A I had studied in Rome from 1948 to 1951, so I lived in Rome at that time as a student doing theology, and then I spent a year in Milan in 1956, '57 and then again as primate, the order from 1967 to '77, so all told I would have lived 14 years in Italy, 13 in Europe.

Q To your knowledge, at any time while serving and working in any capacity that you have in the last 57 years, did you become aware of a document or protocol issued by the Vatican, the Office of the [page 31 begins] See, concerning practices to be followed when there is solicitation in the confessional?
A I certainly knew about the solicitation in the confessional from the code, the Canon Law, but there was a separate document I did not know about.

MR. SHRINER: The code being about a 1916 document?

THE WITNESS: The code is 1917, and then it was redone in 1983, so in the code it talks about solicitation, but there was a separate document from the Congregation of Religious. I didn't find out about that until probably in the '90s. I couldn't tell you when I did.

Q When you're referring to the code, you're referring to the code of Canon Law first promulgated in 1917 and then revised in 1983, correct?
A Right.

Q And it's also correct to say that that code effectively establishes both the laws and the protocols that every priest and superior is required to live by and every norm that they are required to adhere to?
A "Every" is a big word.

Q Well -- [page 32 begins]
A Basic, yes.

Q How would you describe the code as it applied to the conduct of clerics?
A Naturally it deals only with the negatives, so I think the code would be considered an inadequate document for formation.

Q The code basically is a set of rules and regulations that prohibits certain kinds of conduct?
A One section does that, but that's a small section.

Q And I'll get to that. Referring back to a -- the question of instructions issued by the Vatican concerning solicitation in the confessional, I'm going to show you what I've marked 412 and 412-A. [Exhibit] 412 is the Latin version called "Instructio" [also available as three smaller files 1 2 3] and 412-A is called "Instruction on the Manner of Proceeding in Cases of Solicitation, the Decree, Crimen Sollicitationis, the Vatican Press, March 16th, 1962." [Also available as four smaller files 1 2 3 4.] So I'll put the English version before you, Archbishop, and my question to you is did you at some point become familiar with the protocol issued by the Vatican that required that solicitation in the confessional be dealt with in a certain manner?
A I became -- I knew from -- I don't know when -- [page 33 begins] that there was reference to this in the code. This particular document from '62 I became aware of 20 years after it was published.

Q And how did you become aware of it?
A In discussion among the -- probably in the '85 meeting or after that of the bishops. I certainly didn't know it before that, and nor could I even find a copy of it in our archives at the time, so the first copy I would have seen was the Latin copy, and I think it has been updated since then, but I -- it would have been at a later time, and I don't think it was very helpful because most of the cases we had did not involve solicitation in the confessional, so I don't think the document would have been that useful to us.

Q You do recall, however, that being discussed by your colleagues and the fellow bishops at the -- then the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops -- or the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in '85?
A It certainly was mentioned by Canon I'm sure.

Q Let's turn to that meeting at Collegeville in '85. And what do you remember, Archbishop, about the bishops at that conference doing in connection with the problem of pedophilia or sexual abuse by clerics? [page 34 begins]
A I think for the first time it was discussed openly so that the problem was admitted and with experts to talk to us about it. The person who at the time seemed to be the most important expert on the agenda was a psychiatrist from the Georgetown -- no, from Johns Hopkins University, Fred Berlin, and --

Q I'm sorry, Archbishop. Go ahead.
A But I don't remember many of the other speakers --

Q Okay.
A -- on that occasion. Fred Berlin was considered to be an expert throughout the nation, and we talked quite openly to the bishops about how he thought they should proceed. There probably would have been at that meeting also representation from the various places where bishops could send priests, like St. Luke's, at that time I think it was still in Washington. I don't know if some of the others -- which ones were in existence at that time, whether Southdown in Canada was there or not, but there was a representation from those groups that were dealing with sex predators. I'm sure there were some Canonists because we always have Canonists present to talk about this.

MR. SHRINER: Why don't you explain what [page 35 begins] a Canonist is.

THE WITNESS: A Canonist is a church lawyer, but I don't think that was the issue at the meeting as much as it was a question of what we were dealing with in terms of not just a sexual attraction towards kids but an addiction and the extent of that addiction, which was very important. I came away convinced that probably sexual attraction toward kids was more prevalent than we would have thought in our society, but not all people were acting out on that but some were, and it's that some that we had to be concerned about, especially those that might be priests or working for the Catholic church in any capacity who would because of that attraction be attracted to any kind of work where they would have access then to children.

Q You say you came away from that conference and these discussions involving sexual abuse at the conference that the problem of sexual attraction towards kids was more serious than you had realized before, correct?
A Yes.

Q Did you also come away from that conference and [page 36 begins] that discussions with the fellow bishops and the experts invited with the belief that there was a serious problem in the clerical culture and among the bishops in dealing with the issue?
A That's a difficult question to answer because it involves a distinction here between what is the legal setup of the conference and what some of us may have wanted to do simply as bishops. The conference did not have the power to mandate any kind of program on every diocese of the country. That simply was not in the legal setup, so that each diocese, each bishop, was responsible directly to Rome. Even though some of us may have wanted to set up national ways of proceeding that could be imposed, it would not have been a part of the legal setup as was then known.

Q Okay. Is it fair to say that by your last answer, that the bishops, at least some, wanted to do more and have more power to do something about this but that their hands were tied by Rome?
A Hands were tied by the Code of Canon Law, yes.

Q Okay.
A Yes, that was true.

Q And who created the Code of Canon Law?
A It was -- that was way back in 1917 at that time, [page 37 begins] or 1983 revised by Rome, yes.

Q Okay. And I'm looking at an article, and I don't have a copy, so I'm just going to read from it and ask you a question. That was in the Journal Sentinel on March 25th, 2002, title is, "Six Priests Linked to Abuse," and there's a quote from Father Thomas Brundage, B-R-U-N-D-A-G-E, who is judicial vicar of the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese. Do you know him?
A Yes, I do.

Q Okay.
A He no longer is in that capacity, though.

Q And I'm reading from the article, and he says that, "Father Thomas Brundage called priest pedophilia, quote, 'a form of homicide,' unquote, in that it takes away children's innocence." Would you agree or disagree with that observation?
A If you had asked me that in 1979, I would not have agreed with it. If you ask me that now in the year 2008, I would say in almost every case, yes.

Q And when do you think in time you would first have agreed with that observation?
A Between 1985 and 1992.

Q Okay.
A I'll put it precise. [page 38 begins]

Q That's fair enough.
A I think '92 I was totally convinced. '85 I still was believing that some of those psychiatrists who felt that there were younger people who had handled it well, if that's the right way, and did not show the kind of traces of any kind of heavy guilt, whatever you want to call it, but after '85, between '85 and '92, by dealing more and more with victims and meeting with victims and especially victim families, I think we tried to deal with victims not adequately. We had still much to do, and I'm concerned that there hasn't been enough progress in dealing with victims. It's become too much of, I'll say it frankly, a money question rather than healing, so that worries me.
       It worries me even more what has happened to parents, and we need a program -- I'm pontificating here. I think we need a program for greater help for parents because so many of the parents of victims whom I met felt somehow they had been inadequate as parents and that somehow -- and I'd hear them say this to me, "I don't know why my son didn't talk to me about it when it happened. I was a good father or a good mother." And I feel sorry about that, and I'm sure we've learned that [page 39 begins] those who were abused don't readily talk to parents about it. It takes a long time to do that.
       You asked me earlier if I talked to my mother about what Father Bertrand said to me, and the answer was no, but I can tell you I did talk to her probably when I was about in the first year of college about the other case, the second case, the John Doe --

Q The priest -- it's priest one is what we'll call him.
A Priest one, I did talk to her about that once, but it took me about three years and the right circumstances to do this. Should I go ahead and talk about that?

MR. SHRINER: Go ahead.

THE WITNESS: I had a big truck garden and it was one way of supplying food for the family, and she took care of the flowers, so often in the dusk in the evening we would be out working together. She would be putzing with her flowers and I'd be cutting my lettuce, but I did talk to her about this and what had happened and my puzzlement about the decision of Father Vitus concerning kind of dividing the group into three, some who left immediately, some who left at the end [page 40 begins] of the year, et cetera, and I was talking to her about this.
       So that was the first time I opened up, but it took me about three years, and her response is something I'll never forget, and I still think about it. It wasn't what I had expected at all. She said, "Well, I just hope that your first sexual experience will be a wonderful one," and that's all she said, and I thought, as I think about it, this was a tremendous response in her own way, but I get back to the point, I don't know what we do to help parents get over the fact that they were good parents even though a kid didn't feel that he could reveal this to them at that time.

Q Okay. Archbishop, as I was listening to you there, I think I heard you say that you first became very aware of the problem in '85 and then in 1992 you became convinced of the gravity of it; is that a fair summary?
A That's a very fair statement.

Q Okay. And after having become aware in '85 and then convinced in '92 of the gravity of the problem, did you as archbishop at any time advocate to your fellow bishops or to the Vatican that more [page 41 begins] must be done by the leadership in the church in America?
A I remember -- and I couldn't give you the date on this -- sitting down with the archbishop in the congregation of the clergy for an hour-and-a-half to talk about the problem, and I can't give you the date. It was certainly during one of our Ad Limina visits, A-D --


THE WITNESS: Ad Limina, so that would have been probably in 1992, I'd have to look that up, to talk to him about the seriousness of the cases and just pouring out my heart.

Q When you say "him," who are you referring to?
A At the time I'd have to look up his name. He's right now the cardinal of Naples. [Weakland is referring to Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe. On the second day of the deposition, Sepe is identified. See page 240.]

Q So it was one of the high ranking officials at the Vatican?
A Yes.

Q Probably one of the heads of one of the congregations?
A Congregation of Clergy.

Q Congregation of Clergy?
A That's where I thought this should be, and they [page 42 begins] were the ones that should handle it.

Q At that time was the Congregation of Clergy, at least as you understood it, the department in the Vatican structure that was to be dealing with sexual abuse and the investigation and discipline and handling of it?
A Yes.

Q Okay. And did you tell -- did you tell me you did remember who that was or not that you spoke to?
A I do remember, but his name escapes me now.

Q Okay.
A And all I can tell you is at present he is the cardinal of Naples.

MR. SHRINER: Mr. Anderson, the videographer would like to close the blinds, and I'm afraid it will make some noise. Perhaps we could take a second here to figure out how to do it.

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We are off the record at 10:36 a.m.

(Recess taken.)

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We are back on the record at 10:40 a.m.

MR. SHRINER: We've adjusted the blinds so that the glare is out of the witness' eyes. [page 43 begins]

Q Archbishop, you were telling us about the meeting where you advocated for change, it sounds like, to then the head of the Congregation of Clergy, now a cardinal in Milan?

MR. SHRINER: Naples.

MR. ANDERSON: Excuse me, in Naples.

Q Tell us about that conversation. What did you ask him and the Office of the See to do about this problem then?
A It would be impossible for me to respond to that clearly because I don't remember that I asked him anything, except to tell him what -- the severity of the cases, what we were trying to do. I didn't have any specific agenda at that point for him.

Q What response, if any, did you receive from the head of the Congregation for the Clergy?
A I must say a good -- they listened -- or he listened well and -- but I received no kind of positive feedback.

Q Did you get -- while he listened to you, did you get a cold shoulder?
A No, no, no. I felt he was truly interested in it, and I did also go then to talk to the cardinal, [page 44 begins] then he was the archbishop, who was the head of the commission for doing the new code and its interpretation. His name was Herranz, H-E-R-R-A-N-Z. I think he's deceased since then, but I did talk to him at great length about the situation, not only because he was a Canon lawyer but also because in his previous life he had been a psychiatrist, was a member of Opus Dei and I thought could be helpful to talk about it.

Q And when you spoke to him, were you making a similar plea for reform by the Office of the Pope to deal with the issue that was now prevalent of sexual abuse?
A I can't say that.

Q Okay.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me, Jeff. If I could just lodge this so I don't have to butt in. In terms of the timing, we talked about timing, from what my records show is that the events involving Jane Does were between '65 and '70 and those involving the John Does were 1973 to 1976 and the most recent was Mr. Linneman, who is a disclosed plaintiff, was 1982 and the events that we're talking about now so far as I can see are 10 years after the fact, so I won't -- if I can have a [page 45 begins] standing objection, I think these are outside the scope of anything that's discoverable or relevant to the cases that we have.

MR. ANDERSON: Well, you have a standing objection so you don't have to make it again, but if you want to waive any defense on Statute of Limitations or any assertion by the Archdiocese that any of these plaintiffs knew or should have known of the fraud or the misconduct by the Archdiocese, I'd be happy not to ask the questions.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Well, I'll take the standing objection so I don't have to interfere.


MR. ROTHSTEIN: I've just noted for the record I think the basis. Thank you.

MR. ANDERSON: Okay. And noted.

Q Was the -- was the conversation with the Cardinal Archbishop -- how do you pronounce that?
A Herranz.

Q -- Herranz sometime after you had the meeting with the head of the Congregation for the Clergy or about that same time?
A About the same time.

Q It sounds like you at that time -- was this in the [page 46 begins] early '90s?
A Yes.

Q It sounds like at that time you were frustrated by what wasn't being done by the leadership in America and you were going to Rome to get them to hear your plea about doing more?
A Yes.

Q Okay. And one of the things you were asking them to do was revise the Code of Canon Law to get tough with the priests who abuse and with the bishops and leaders that allow them to, right?
A I wasn't saying that.

Q Okay.
A You would be putting words in my mouth.

Q Why don't you tell us what you were.
A The Code of Canon Law had its own set of rules for handling cases of this sort so, for example, the age differences were clear. While the code had, I believe, 16 as adulthood for men and 14 for girls, this certainly contradicted what we would have in the State of Wisconsin, so there was need for some adjustments of the code to our present circumstances, and it was a little later then when Pope John Paul himself adjusted those but temporarily from the code for United States. That [page 47 begins] would be one example of the way in which this would work.
       I don't think the code had any knowledge, and probably most of us didn't, of the depth of the addiction of sexual attraction to kids. I don't think the code had any psychological awareness of a problem of this sort, nor what to do with cases of that, so it just -- it's not clear there how to handle it, so it was more -- as we were discussing more and more among the bishops how to do it, it became evident that we needed help and how to handle the code. The procedures of the code, that's the penal section of the code, were extremely complicated and such that I don't think many Canonists in United States had ever dealt with. This was a whole new field for them.
       They knew very well the section that dealt with annulling marriages, but the rest of the Penal Code was almost a mystery. When I studied Canon Law, that section we didn't even look at as a regular seminarian because it was something that the professionals would take care of. Now that became center stage, if you will, and, therefore, we had to look at it and see what happened.
       Our general experience with handling that [page 48 begins] section of the code was that every case that you would try in United States had to be appealed to Rome and would linger over there for years, and so there was a tendency to shy away from trying to implement that section of the code in United States. Rome was very critical of how we handled the annulment cases. I can only imagine how critically they would have dealt with handling the cases of sexual abuse, so we shied away from using the code in that respect.
       I remember some of us were pushing for a more streamlined kind of way of treating these cases, which came in after 2002, but this is 10 years before that, and we unfortunately used the word, "an administrative tribunal," which had the holy father furious because he said it's the word that the communists had always used to subvert justice rather than to help justice. So he didn't want anything to do with an administrative process that in any way would be unjust, so it's -- all of this was discussed, and it's not something that we just sat there and just twiddled our thumbs.

Q There were other bishops and archbishops besides yourself advocating for these reforms at this time in the early 1990s, correct? [page 49 begins]
A Yes, there were.

Q How many in number would you estimate?
A Out of 260 bishops, so I suppose about half were considered.

Q And the meetings that you had with -- the meeting that you had with Herranz, was that -- who else attended that?
A Just me.

Q Okay. Is it fair to say, Archbishop, that at that time in the early '90s and at the time of these meetings and your advocacy for reform, that there was frustration with the ordinaries' ability to deal with this problem because the code tied their hands?
A I can't speak for other bishops. I can only speak for myself, and speaking for myself, I'll say yes.

Q And is it correct to say that the code was effectively the only real protocol that was in place that you were allowed to use in dealing with sexual abuse at that time?
A Yes.

Q And is it also fair to say that the code in effect required you as an ordinary and the other ordinaries to keep these matters secret, that is allegations of sexual abuse? [page 50 begins]

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. I'll simply show my objection. I think they're calling for the Archbishop to give expert testimony as a Canonist.

THE WITNESS: This is beyond -- a little bit beyond me here. Certainly the protocols of a trial were secret, but I'm not sure about anything else beyond that. I couldn't tell you.

Q Was there anything in the code or practices that existed in the early 1990s that -- let me just strike that question and ask you this. Apart from the code that you have referred to, are you aware of any procedures or policies that were written and in place that guided how you as an ordinary were to deal with sexual abuse up and to and through the early 1990s?
A After 1985 a committee was formed and documents were produced by that committee. The title of these were restoring trust, and these we all dealt with, talked about and were used by most dioceses but not all throughout the country.

Q Any other efforts made by you in the early '90s to reform the practices being employed and/or the code that required those practices pertaining to sexual abuse that you haven't identified? [page 51 begins]
A I did try to use the processes twice and -- well, first let me preface this by saying I was one of those who advocated for regional tribunals to handle these cases because I felt that not every diocese had trained Canon lawyers to set up a court to meet the requirements of the code, and it would be better if these were done regionally throughout the nation, so I joined the group of bishops who were interested in regional tribunals, but when that didn't come about, I moved ahead and tried two cases in the '90s in the diocese using lawyers, church lawyers from Green Bay and Chicago. We're well situated. We can draw on a broader group.
       We tried these two cases. They were appealed to Rome, and I don't think -- the one man died later and I don't think the other has ever been answered, but I don't know what's happened after 2002.

Q And those two cases that were tried by the Archdiocese with the help of Green Bay and Chicago and the priests that were tried, it was for sexual abuse, right?
A Yes.

Q Was that fact known that they were accused and tried for sexual abuse of minors ever made known to [page 52 begins] the public by the Archdiocese officials at any time?
A The one case had been public knowledge, so it had gone through a civil court.

Q What case is that?
A That is Larry Murphy --

Q Okay.
A -- had gone through a civil court before I came to Milwaukee, but it's typical of the way in which even civil courts handled these cases in those days. The case had gone to court and was thrown out by the judge.

Q On the Statute of Limitations?
A No. And it's a case that I feel very, very sensitive about because these -- this was the School for the Deaf and these were all deaf kids, and I don't think -- because of the deafness, I don't think they ever got a fair hearing in court and the cases were simply thrown out. Father Murphy had been relieved of his role as head of the School for the Deaf, so I'm not quite sure -- how did I get onto this one?

MR. SHRINER: He asked about whether it was publicized.

THE WITNESS: It was public knowledge in [page 53 begins] that sense and certainly among the deaf community it was public knowledge, and once -- and we sent it on to Rome, and once in Rome, it would have been 1998, because I was there for an Ad Limina visit and we had a meeting in the congregation for the doctrine of faith with their Canonists in which this case was discussed, which I pleaded that even though he was retired and in ill health, that he be reduced to the lay state to bring some kind of closure to this in our deaf community, and instead it dragged and he died about six months later.

Q You said that Father Larry Murphy was one of the cases that did become known public, that had been --
A Well, certainly the accusations were public because of the trial, and that was 1975.

Q And those accusations were made public because of the civil suit that was brought by a victim, correct?
A Yes. Yes.

[Archbishop Emeritus William E. Cousins of Milwaukee in 1980.]
Q To your knowledge, did the Archdiocese disseminate any information about what they knew Father Larry Murphy had done to many kids at the deaf school, that is sexually abuse them? [page 54 begins]
A I couldn't tell you what Archbishop Cousins did about that because that was before my time.

Q Did you ever disseminate any information to the public, we have reason to believe that Father Larry Murphy abused over a dozen kids at the deaf school and are trying him for those delicts or crimes?
A I -- that doesn't surprise me at all, that information, but I -- I know that we did write articles for the newsletter that the deaf put out in the Chicago area because most of these kids were from the Chicago area and the Milwaukee area. Yes, we did do that.

Q And the other priest that was tried that you referred to, who was that?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Again, is this a public matter? Has this been a substantiated matter, I guess? The question is should he go on this list or not?

MR. ANDERSON: I think it's a substantiated matter. They tried him.

Q He was found to have committed crimes of abuse against minors, correct?
A Yes.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Then I withdraw my [page 55 begins] comment. Thank you.

MR. ANDERSON: That's fine.

THE WITNESS: His first name comes to me and the second I'd have to --

Q You don't have to write it down. You can state what it is.
A I don't know.

Q Okay.
A I know his first name, but his last name doesn't come to me right away.

Q What is his first name?
A Mike.

Q Do you remember what locale he committed the crimes against children for which he was tried in the tribunal or parish?
A They would have happened back in the -- long before I came here, and he was an associate of Father Groppi's in the central city, so it was probably St. Boniface, the old St. Boniface in the central city.

Q And to your knowledge, to this day has any information ever been disseminated by the officials of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee that we tried this priest for crimes of sexual abuse and found or had [page 56 begins] reason to believe he had committed crimes and that the Archdiocese had knowledge of it?
A His name is certainly on the list of those that were published by the Archdiocese. I don't know more than that because what happened after 2002 is not mine.

Q And the list you referred to was disseminated and created as a result of the Dallas Charter in 2002?
A Right. Right.

Q Okay. Archbishop, do you recall having put Father Murphy back into ministry in 1977 or '78 after reports or complaints had been made against him for having abused?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Simply show my objection. The three accused priests in these proceedings, I believe, are Bruce MacArthur from South Dakota, Siegfried Widera from Milwaukee and a Franklyn Becker. I'm not aware of any other priests being involved in the proceedings that we're involved with here, so I have an objection based upon relevance.

MR. ANDERSON: Okay. You may answer.
THE WITNESS: By the time I arrived here, Father Murphy, I had never met, was living on a lake in northern Wisconsin, retired there, and I [page 57 begins] had forbidden him -- after the deaf community, I realized there was a turmoil among them over him, I had forbidden him to come down to Milwaukee and ever celebrate mass here in Milwaukee, so that's on the books.

Q Okay. You forbid him from celebrating mass in Milwaukee, that means minister in the sacraments of mass here in Milwaukee. Did you tell anybody outside the officials of the Archdiocese, that is the public or the parishioners, that you had forbidden Father Murphy from celebrating mass in Milwaukee because of suspicions of sexual abuse?
A This certainly was known in the deaf community, so I don't know how -- whether the chancery put it into their letter or how, but it was well-known in the deaf community and was a very sad case because the older deaf people did not believe it and that pitted them against the youngsters. This was a sad, sad situation, so that's the way it was.

Q After it had become known by the Archdiocese that Murphy had abused kids and was suspected of having done so, are you aware that he worked outside of Milwaukee?
A I'm not sure what the disposition of the [page 58 begins] archbishop -- or the bishop of Superior was because it was the diocese he was living in. I think -- but again you'd have to verify that from elder sources, I think he was permitted to say mass in the parish church where he was living, but you'd have to verify that.

Q And when you imposed a restriction on him to not say mass in Milwaukee because he had been accused of sexual abuse in Milwaukee, what did you do to make sure that he abided by that restriction?
A This is a good question because it touches not just the diocese but our whole probation concept in U.S. society. It's almost impossible to monitor somebody 24 hours a day. I can only say that if we ever got word that he was down in Milwaukee saying mass, then it would have been dealt with, and the way in which we wanted to handle it then was to take him out of ministry totally, and that's why we took the case to Rome.

Q At that time as the -- as the archbishop, you had the power to prevent him from performing any ministerial functions in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, correct?
A Right. Right.

Q And you did not do that, you just restricted him [page 59 begins] from coming to Milwaukee and saying mass, correct?
A No. Anything in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee was forbid.

Q So you had the power as the archbishop to restrict him from performing any ministerial functions in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and your testimony is that you did, correct?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Pardon me. Simply show my objection to the term "power" as being undefined as versus religious power versus a civil power.

MR. ANDERSON: I'm talking about the power over the priest.

Q You know what I'm talking about, don't you?
A I think I do.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Same objection.

Q So my question is did you notify the bishop of Superior, the diocese from which he originally came and was ordinated, that you had imposed this restriction and why?
A Father Murphy was not a priest of Superior. He was a priest of Milwaukee.

Q Oh, I thought he was Superior. Sorry. [page 60 begins]
A So he was living up there, as often people in retirement do, on a lake --

Q I see.
A -- in retirement, and I'm sure that the chancellor of Superior was informed of the restrictions on his acting in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. I can't tell you, though, what the bishop up there may have done in that case. I don't know.

Q As his ordinary then, because he was a priest of the Diocese of -- Archdiocese of Milwaukee, you had the power to restrict his faculties to minister altogether in this Archdiocese, correct?
A Exactly.

Q And you effectively had the power to do that on a phone call?
A I wouldn't do it on a phone call, but you could.

Q And if he -- if you felt he had posed a risk of harm to children, immediately you had the power to immediately make a phone call or dispatch one of your delegates so that he would not exercise any of his faculties in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, correct?
A Yes.

Q I want to go back to that quote that I was reading from Father Thomas Brundage because we digressed, [page 61 begins] and I'm reading from this article, and I'm going to read a quote attributed to him and then ask you if you agree with it. According to this article that I referred to earlier, he states, "After 1985, all churches in the United States were on notice that they cannot put priests who have had incidents of having sexual abuse in parishes or any setting where they would have access to children." Do you agree with that observation?
A I'm not quite sure what Tom would have been referring to there.

MR. SHRINER: I know you only have one copy but perhaps if you let him read it, he would be clearer what you're asking.

THE WITNESS: At least what date it is and so on.

MR. SHRINER: '02 I think you said.

MR. ANDERSON: Yes, this is '02, and I'll show it to you.

Q And the next quote that I'm going to ask you if you agree with or disagree, it states, "For the church authorities to have allowed this to happen was sinful, more than negligent, and I believe they should be held accountable." So I'll show you the [page 62 begins] passage and the article that I'll read from and then ask you about the first quote and then if you want, you can read it out loud and then state whether you would agree or disagree with that observation.

MR. SHRINER: Why don't you just let him read it silently and you can ask him your question. I just want him to have the context.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Could I see the article, too? Thank you.

Q Now that you read that highlighted portion in the article, the quote attributed to him, would you agree with that?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: I show my objection. The question is compound. It involves multiple statements in here.

THE WITNESS: There's several things he's saying there, which he picked 1985, which is the date I put down also as the moment when we began to talk about these things seriously, but there are other aspects of it that Tom would not have known about because he had not attended the meeting of 1985 and had not heard what went on at that meeting, so I think it's a little bit of too broad [page 63 begins] a sweep.

Q Fair enough. Would you agree with this statement? After 1985 and what you and other bishops learned about the problem of sexual abuse, would you agree that -- can I have that -- "That no bishop should put any priest who has sexually abused children back into any parish for any reason"?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Asking the witness to comment on other bishops beyond himself.

THE WITNESS: It's difficult to say never, and that's why there cannot be some extenuating circumstance there or some that would change things. I don't think this is getting at the problem we were facing, though, which is a problem of -- well, two problems actually. One of them was what kind of legal procedures you could bring so that the question would be solved more permanently, and the second one would be what do you do even if you take them out of ministry, how do you monitor someone, and I don't think civil society has done a very good job on that either.
       We're still trying to figure out how you monitor people 24 hours out of the day, and that was what -- Fred Berlin and that talk he gave to [page 64 begins] the bishops in 1985 suggested that we bishops not proceed to get them out of priesthood but keep them in the priesthood and monitor them there because he felt that the church could monitor better than civil society was doing. Now, that sounds strange, but that was the advice that this so-called eminent psychotherapist was giving to us at that time.
       And as I looked at it at the time, I thought well, what other choice does one have. If you don't have the means to take legal action that's not going to last in the courts -- church courts for 10 years, how are you going to monitor then somebody who you can't get rid of, as it were, and that is the dilemma of that period that we were thinking about talking about and trying to come up with some kind of solution.
       Certainly the idea of sending them for a lengthy period to one of these centers that dealt with priest pedophiles was probably the solution that most bishops took, and when those centers would -- or would say well, we think that they are now safe, that would alter what the bishop's decision might be, but even then there were no clear guidelines on how you monitor, and even today it's one of those things that I just am baffled by [page 65 begins] because we're getting a society with so many people who are dangerous on the streets. I don't know how you monitor all this, and to me it's a baffle.

Q Archbishop, as you talk about, and we do, the problem of sexual abuse of minors by priests, you said that you tried to understand this problem and you asked the question and I wrote it down, when a priest abuses a child and you know about it as the archbishop, you ask the question what other choice does one have but to monitor him, and let me ask a question now. As archbishop, is it fair to say that you chose to -- when a priest was suspected of abusing a child, admitted or not, that you chose to do your best to monitor him?
A Yes.

Q Okay. And other than monitoring him and sending him for treatment, did you choose to do anything else?
A We set up a program where a permanent deacon in the diocese would come to us from Los Angeles where he was in charge of the monitoring program for the police force of Los Angeles.

Q When would this have been, Archbishop?
A This would have been in the '90s. His name was [page 66 begins] McGuire, and he was teaching even the monitoring system for the police of Los Angeles, and he came then to Milwaukee, and Tom was his first name, Tom McGuire, and he --

Q Is that Donald McGuire's brother?
A I have no idea.

Q The Jesuit priest.
A I don't think so. It's a common Irish name.

MR. SHRINER: Lot of McGuires out there.

THE WITNESS: Lot of McGuires. But he set up for me kind of a monitoring system where he would keep track of the person, visit the person regularly, and he was shrewd, and he could pick when there was a problem, and then we had -- in part of that system was that the members of the parish council and staff were informed so that they could monitor the priest, plus all the restrictions about any kind of contact with minors. So yes, we had a program in force during the '90s, which I confess I saw as all you could do at that time and you did the best you could with it and leave it at that.

Q Did you feel constrained by the Canon Law that all you could really do when a priest was -- had abused [page 67 begins] kids was to monitor them?
A Not so much by the code as such but by the long delays, and these cases I knew would all be appealed to Rome where it could sit there, as the case we had did, for many years and then what do you do in a case that's just suspended?

Q Archbishop, during the time that you worked and served as the ordinary of the Archdiocese from November of '77 until, I think it was, May of 2001?
A 2002.

Q Excuse me, 2002, did you ever report suspicions of sexual abuse by one of your priests to any civil authorities? This question goes to you as the archbishop.
A I probably wouldn't have done it myself, but the vicar for clergy I would have told to report it, and we had --

Q So I want to break this down, Archbishop. I don't want to interrupt you, but I want to make sure that you're answering the question that I'm asking. I'm asking personally as the archbishop, did you ever make any report of suspected sexual abuse between '77 and 2002 to civil authorities?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Simply show my objection. We're here about three individual [page 68 begins] priests, MacArthur, Widera and Becker. This is way beyond that.

THE WITNESS: I can't recall ever doing so personally.

Q Okay.
A And --

Q Then I have a next question.
A I have an addendum to my answer.

Q Sure.
A I don't think that's the problem because cases that -- where the Statute of Limitation had not expired, as in something like the Effinger case or the Peter Burns case, these were easy because you hand them over to the civil authorities and they take their course, but it's the cases where the Statute of Limitation had expired, these were the hard cases for us to handle.

Q Are you talking about the Civil Statute of Limitations?
A Yes, the Civil Statute of Limitations, which, by the way, were used --

MR. SHRINER: You're saying civil but he may be drawing the distinction between civil and criminal. [page 69 begins]

Q You're talking about the civil law's ability to prosecute him?
A No, criminal, I'm talking a criminal case, and the criminal -- but also the Statute of Limitations in the canonical sense, which were not the same as the civil, which meant if you wanted to present the case to Rome as -- and try it, you would have even more difficulty doing so, presenting a valid case, because the two were -- did not have the same kinds of Statute of Limitations.

Q Okay. My next question, Archbishop, pertains to reporting. You said that you personally as the ordinary had never reported. Did anybody at your direction ever report suspected sexual abuse to civil authorities from '77 to 2002?
A I would have to look at every case, and I can't possibly do that.

Q Do you have any memory of having directed that that be done between 1977 and 2002?
A I certainly know that I asked the vicar for clergy to talk to civil authority about cases, yes.

[Auxiliary Bishop Richard J. Sklba of Milwaukee in 2002.]
Q Who was that that you asked to talk to civil authorities about cases?
A Well, the vicar for clergy, and that changed many [page 70 begins] times during that period.

Q Well, from 1977 the vicar for clergy is --
A I created the job of vicar for clergy --

Q Who was the first under your --
A -- in about 1980, and that was Joe Janicki, and he was succeeded by Bishop Sklba and Bishop Brust and then after that came Tom Venne, Tom Kerstein, who died prematurely in the job after a few months, Carrol Straub, who also died of a heart attack after a short period in that job. I might be out of order there in the succession, but after that was Joe Hornacek, and he was vicar for clergy when I retired.

Q And what vicar for clergy do you have a memory of having directed to report sexual abuse to civil authorities?
A I had them consult, and I think Joe Janicki did this once, especially about the Statute of Limitation. I don't remember anything in the next years, but it would have been after '85 that I would have asked them to consult on the Statute of Limitation.

Q As opposed to -- besides Janicki, do you have any recollection of ever asking any other vicar for clergy to make a contact with civil authorities? [page 71 begins]
A I can't answer that because I'm not sure I could think of -- we had -- we also had Liz Piasecki in our -- who was a psychologist taking care of the victims and what she was doing, our lawyer at the time, Matt Flynn. I can't keep all of that straight who would have reported.

Q By the way, you answered the question, Archbishop, it sounds like you had the vicar for clergy consult the civil authorities on whether the Statute of Limitations had expired; is that correct?
A Yes. Yes.

Q Did you ever direct any official under your control actually turn the information that you had received or that the Archdiocese had received concerning sexual abuse over to the civil authorities so they could investigate it?
A That happened later.

Q When is the first time that happened, Archbishop?
A I couldn't tell you, but it was probably in the '90s.

Q In connection with what priest?
A I couldn't tell you, but I know that they did do investigations.

[Auxiliary Bishop Leo J. Brust of Milwaukee in 1980.]
Q Well, I'm not asking whether they did investigations. We know they did some [page 72 begins] investigations, and we'll get to that, but I'm asking the question is to your knowledge and recollection, did any official of the Archdiocese ever report the information that the Archdiocese had to the police or civil authorities so that the civil authorities could investigate?
A I'm sure it happened, but I can't tell you who would have done it, and I confess that I was not too convinced that the civil authorities handled these cases well.

Q Tell me about that. What led you to believe that?
A Well, the Widera case.

Q And who was it that didn't handle it well in your --
A The judge, the probation officer. All of this to me was simply not handled -- and maybe one has to take -- in that period, in the '70s, these things were not organized on any level, so I would -- I don't think that from a civil point of view that case was the kind of thing that I would say boy, I'm going to go to them to solve this problem. I'd say the same thing about the case that I feel deeply about, and that is the Larry Murphy and the deaf community where I don't think the judge in that case handled that professionally, so -- and my [page 73 begins] way of looking at it at the time was that this was not just a way in which the courts handled priests but the way in which they handled professional people, that it was a different way, if you will, my dealings with professional societies, like say those that gave credentials to therapists and whatnot, were not good and they did not handle cases.
       In one case in particular where a man's license should have been pulled, I had to pull him because you would have waited years before the accrediting association came to any decision. So my feeling about the way in which things were handled in the '70s and into the '80s in the -- in the civil order was not what I would call efficient or promising, so I was not happy with it.

Q Well, when you fault the judge in the Widera case and the prosecutor, you were aware that when you were installed as Archbishop in 1977, that Widera had been convicted of child abuse, criminal sexual conduct against a child in 1973, right?
A I knew that had happened. Not immediately. There were 500 and some priests of the Archdiocese. He was on a list, but I came to know the case.

Q What judge were you faulting when you said that the judge -- [page 74 begins]
A The judge of Ozaukee County.

Q In what connection did the judge, you believe, fail in his responsibility of protection of the children?
A This is -- I'm no expert on all of this. All I can tell you is how I felt about it, but apparently if what I learned after '81, the police blot was extremely serious. This was not just a simple case and that Widera was given only probation and with no clear kind of setup for monitoring what that was about, that's hard for me to believe looking at it from present day standards. In those days there may have been a different way in which they looked at it, but you're asking the question of me. I certainly didn't have much confidence in the legal system to solve these problems, and it was curious that stayed with me up until '85, too, when Fred Berlin said that the church should take care of and not put these people out on society but the church should take care of the monitoring. I kept thinking that should not be so in our society.

Q Did you ever have a conversation with the district attorney about where you were told or it was discussed that you should deal with the priests as [page 75 begins] opposed to the prosecuting authorities?
A The reason why I can't answer that real clearly is that we did have a case where the district attorney met with the personal lawyer of the priest that none of us were present and got some kind of an agreement out of this sort.

Q Who is the priest, Archbishop?
A Well, later this became almost impossible to unravel, but I --

Q Who was the priest on that?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Again, was this a conviction or what was it?

MR. ANDERSON: Well, this is a priest that's being investigated by the district attorney's --

THE WITNESS: It's not a conviction.

MR. ANDERSON: -- office, right?


Q So who was the priest?
A The priest was Jerome Wagner.

Q And when was that?
A Somewhere in the '80s.

Q And who was the prosecutor that was investigating, the DA? [page 76 begins]
A This gets me into --

THE WITNESS: Should I answer all of this?

MR. SHRINER: If you can. Whatever you remember.

THE WITNESS: Well, as I remember, it was the DA of Waukesha County, Paul Bucher.

Q And what came of that investigation? Was Wagner ever charged or was it turned back over to you to handle?
A As this shows the difficulty of these cases because for almost every case we had five sets of lawyers. I have nothing against lawyers, but when you have to deal with five sets for every case, it gets a little complicated, so that the priest had his own civil lawyer and his own canonical lawyer, the victims had their own lawyers and then the diocese had its own lawyer and canonical lawyer and then you had the insurance companies, so when you put all of this together, sometimes it got a little bit out of control.
       I have no -- I had no problem with a priest having his own lawyer. I think this was absolutely necessary and even his own canonical [page 77 begins] lawyer to defend his own rights, but in this particular case it was the lawyer of the individual priest who was dealing with the civil and not us, and that happened in several cases until we had somehow come to some agreement on who would handle this so that I'm not working one against another. So in this case it was the priest's individual lawyer who was working with the DA, and it was that lawyer who then reported to me what that conversation was all about and what was expected of me. Now, later when I tried to verify all of this, I had a lot of problems trying to get any clarity, he said, he said, he said and it was not a good situation. I admit this.

Q And did you after that -- after that investigation or involvement by the DA continue Wagner in ministry in the Archdiocese?
A I did, but what they had agreed on, which was that he be moved to another place and the police in that place were informed and they supervised him, that was the agreement.

Q What police agency was supposed to have supervised Wagner?
A Fond du Lac.

Q And did he abuse after that? [page 78 begins]
A No, not to my knowledge. I've got to be careful. Not to my knowledge, but this -- I guess it sounds self-defensive in a way, but these cases were not that simple to handle, even with the civil authorities.

Q Did you turn the file that the Archdiocese maintained on Father Wagner over to the prosecuting authority?
A I did. He had the file. He had the file and --

Q How did he get the file?
A It was given to him by the lawyers. At least he had all the information I would have had, but the --

Q I need to ask you about that, Archbishop. I'm sorry for interrupting, but I need to get an answer to this question. You say you believed that the DA that investigated Wagner had the file. Do you know concerning Wagner, that is the Archdiocese's full file concerning Wagner?
A Everything that was in our files he would have had, yes, because we had no previous accusations against --

Q And that was sometime in the 1980s, correct?
A That was in the '80s.

Q And before that time had any file ever been turned [page 79 begins] over by the Archdiocese to civil authorities investigating criminal sexual conduct by priests voluntarily?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. The question is compound. It asks for many things.

THE WITNESS: I'm not sure of actual paper going back and forth but certainly everything we knew was known. In cases that involved lawsuits, like Peter Burns, it was a civil case, they had everything we had on a man like that, and in this case --

Q What makes you believe that, Archbishop?
A Because we had no previous record of anything. There would have been nothing there in our records that would have -- would not have been revealed to them. I can say that honestly about these cases.

Q Who revealed the information concerning Father Burns to the investigating authorities, the civil authorities?
A The victim. In his case I believe it was the victim.

Q I'm talking about the information maintained by Father Burns by the Archdiocese, that is his files.
A His file would have been the vicar for clergy [page 80 begins] always maintained these files.

Q And do you have personal knowledge of whether or not the file concerning Father Burns was actually turned over to the civil authorities by the Archdiocese?
A I presuppose this because when it went to trial, they had everything that we had. I can't imagine we had anything that they didn't have.

Q And do you have any knowledge concerning Wagner and whether the Archdiocese actually turned over the file maintained by the Archdiocese concerning Wagner to the civil authorities or not?
A Well, certainly all the information we had was turned over to Bucher because it was a first offense. We had no previous records in the files.

Q Who do you believe turned that over, Archbishop?
A The lawyers.

Q What lawyer concerning Wagner turned the Archdiocese file maintained by the Archdiocese to civil authorities?
A I would presuppose that this was done by his personal lawyer, who would have had it from us. I can't imagine there was anything in there because there was no previous accusations against him.

Q Do -- who was that lawyer? [page 81 begins]
A Jerry Boyle.

Q Okay. At some point Jerry Boyle entered into some kind of agreement with the Archdiocese to represent a priest accused of abuse, did he not?
A Yes, he did.

Q And the Archdiocese agreed to pay him -- pay the legal fees to Jerry Boyle and then if they could pay the Archdiocese back, they would; but if they couldn't, they didn't have to, right?
A It depended on their financial situation.

Q And he represented a lot of priests accused of abuse under this agreement where the Archdiocese paid him to do that, right?
A "A lot" is a big word. I'm not sure how many would have fallen under that. It was a way of trying to make sure that the lawyers were working together because when you have five groups, you need some kind of way of maintaining order in all of this.

Q Okay. Now, going back to Wagner for a minute --
A Can I add just one point to show you the complexity of it, if I may?

Q Well, let me do this. He's just running out of tape and I need to finish this one question and then I'd be happy to let you add that. When it concerns Wagner, you talked about the DA's [page 82 begins] involvement. Did the Archdiocese or any official of it at your direction notify the parishioners that Wagner was under investigation for sexual abuse and that the Archdiocese was aware of it?
A I can't answer that the people did. I doubt that at that time.

Q Now you can --
A Can I get back to the other?

Q Yes.

MR. SHRINER: Do you want to finish this answer?

THE WITNESS: Well, I can answer about certainly the police knew about it in Fond du Lac, and when one policeman knows it, all policemen know it. It's an amazing network that happens, so in that sense he was monitored by more than one, but the more interesting thing for me was personally I sent two people out to the DA's office in Waukesha to get a copy of his agreement with Jerry Boyle and what this was all about, to get a copy of his file on the case, and I never got it because he said he'd give it to the press and it had not been returned. Now, I mean this certainly gives me a lot of confidence in working with the DA and the legal system. [page 83 begins]

Q You say that the -- when one police knows about it, all police know about it, so you're assuming that the police knew about it. My question to you is did you or anybody at your direction notify the parishioners who had children in the schools and the parishes where Wagner had served and worked?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Show my objection to relevancy of Wagner to these proceedings.

MR. ANDERSON: You can answer and then we have to do the tape.

THE WITNESS: No, and it was not our custom at that time to inform everybody. I would have preferred to take people out rather than inform the parish.

Q Why is that? Why didn't you choose -- why did you choose to just take people out of a parish, that is the offending priest, and monitor him as opposed to making the choice to warn the parishioners and reporting it to the police?
A I think it's because you and I probably have a totally different concept of the human person. I say this because what's coming forward so often in all of these discussions is the idea almost that a [page 84 begins] person with any kind of an addiction cannot control it and that there's no way of improving that conduct or modifying it, and I call this a Calvinist approach. I'm sorry if that offends, but I call it a Calvinist approach, and it's in our whole U.S. society and it bothers me, and I say that right away.
       Well, the -- it's almost as if you've put a label on them and that label will stick forever. That's the -- they carry it, and that's why the monitoring system can't work because it doesn't get at root causes of helping people to change any kind of behavior.

Q When --

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: Counsel, we need to go now.

MR. ANDERSON: Okay. We have to go off the tape here.

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: This is the end of disk number one of the deposition of RembertWeakland. We are off the record at 11:42 a.m.

(Recess taken.)

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We are back on the record at 11:52 a.m. This is the beginning of disk number two in the deposition of Archbishop Rembert [page 85 begins] Weakland.

Q Archbishop, right before the tape was to run out, you said something that I wanted to just follow up on, and I wrote it down. You said, "That's why the monitoring system doesn't work." Were you referring to the monitoring system that you and your predecessor had been using --
A No --

Q -- to monitor the priests?
A -- I was referring to the monitoring system in the whole of society.

Q Okay.
A That's what I was referring to.

Q Okay. Then there was a question you had wanted to answer and I said I would let you and if you remember, I don't remember the question, but I hope you remember the answer you wanted to give. Do you have something you want to say?
A I think this had something to do with the way in which we, and I say we, I mean the religious group, would look at both victims and predators as our job as trying to be a healing one and not just a judgmental condemning one. If there was anything that I would worry about is that once the legal [page 86 begins] things are all solved, we wipe our hands, as it were, and that's only the beginning because people have to be helped. We have so little understanding of what a sexual predator is all about, and I don't think we'll get anywhere in terms of monitoring until we get a deeper knowledge of what is happening here.
       My feeling is that it's an immaturity, but that's just me thinking this, a sexual immaturity, but I'm no psychiatrist or psychologist, and in the question of victims, I have even greater concerns that we're not getting at the deep angers that remain, that seem to be constantly inflamed so -- and I say those are preoccupations that I as a religious leader would have, that people in the legal system don't have to worry about.

Q It sounds, Archbishop, like you're reflecting on and focusing on offenders and why offenders commit offenses and reoffend, correct?
A That's a part of it.

Q These lawsuits are focusing on why it is that the officials of the Archdiocese kept the information they had concerning these offenders secret. Do you believe that the officials of the Archdiocese kept [page 87 begins] information concerning clerical offenders in it on your watch a secret?
A I don't like the word "secret." It's a negative word.

Q Well, let's put it this way.

MR. SHRINER: Let him finish.

Q If you don't like the word secret, I'll give you a better word. To themselves; in other words, sharing it only with one another and not letting the public and the unwary know what they knew, is that -- when I use the word secret, that's what I mean.
A I think there were several reasons why that happened, and they are larger issues and the larger issue goes back, way back, about the ways in which the Catholic church in the United States felt itself as a minority in a wasp society and a tendency then to keep everything within the family. You call it clerical culture, that this is the way in which it would be done, and this is not a question of clergy and bishops, but it's a question of the whole culture. This would be true of the Irish, the Italians, the Polish. It was true of my mother, that over against that other society that [page 88 begins] we were a minority in, to betray your faults or the faults of your leaders in that public sphere would not be wise.
       It was not what you did. It was not loyal, and in Europe it's even worse than perhaps in the United States because the results of the French revolution are still very palpable to most European bishops and clergy and the way in which the church was devastated. Instead of the Benedictine Order, in visiting monasteries under the Nazis in Germany or under the communists in Poland, I came upon even more secrecy and unwillingness to put anything in writing because once it's in writing, it can be confiscated, as Hitler did with religious orders and dioceses and then that information put into the press.
       Once the public opinion was on their side, then to suppress the monastery, and the generation before me, I'm talking now about Archbishop Cousins and that post-war period, had inherited a whole lot of that idea that you'd put nothing in writing. You kept no files and you were very, very cautious about sharing anything, and so it was a culture, you're right, that's the right word to use, but it was a deep almost paranoia in [page 89 begins] the Catholic culture. I say this because I was the first to start the priest files, and this had the priests very nervous that there would be a file in the vicar's office, and I had to say well, anybody can look at their file any time they want, but they can't take anything out of the file. They can write a note to be put into the file if they feel there's some injustice against them in the file, but I remember how difficult it was to change the mentality that these will be abused so that what might be an accusation suddenly becomes publicized and their life is finished.

Q It's fair to say then that when it comes to the sexual abuse by the priests within the Archdiocese family, that the Archdiocese on your watch kept its knowledge of that -- of those priests within the family of the clergy?
A I would say yes and no. I would say yes to the point that if it had become public knowledge or the -- or if the family wanted to take the case to the police or whatever, they would -- I would never once -- never once in my life did I ever try to tell them not to. In fact, I hate to be selfish but it made it easier because it became the burden, if you will, of the civil society. On the other [page 90 begins] hand, there was a tendency to feel that this knowledge would be misused, and I can give you in communists countries many examples of where I saw that misuse, and I can see why the Holy Father from his experiences in Poland was very cautious about these things.

Q It would be misused, at least if I'm understanding you correctly, because the church would be -- officials would be scandalized by its dissemination or public disclosure; is that right?
A No, I don't think that was the problem. Most Catholics are pretty realistic that it's not a perfect church.

Q Let me ask you this, Archbishop. It is correct under the Code of Canon Law that the archbishop, the presiding ordinary, is to keep any file that is scandalous or likely to subject the church to scandal secret?
A If there's that law, I don't know it.

Q Okay.
A I've never saw that written down, no.

Q Are you familiar with the Archdiocese maintaining subsecreto or confidential files?
A I've heard about it, but I've never seen those files, and I don't know if the Archdiocese of [page 91 begins] Milwaukee has such things. If so, I never used them. I thought that was antique already, Old Testament.

Q You mentioned that you were the first to maintain priest files. Were you -- am I hearing you correctly then that Archbishop Cousins, your predecessor, did not maintain priest files as you did?
A He maintained priest files for all of the appointments, all of the ordinations, all the things that happened in a priest's official life. Those were all there, but you won't find in the files, let's say, complaint letters from Mr. So and So from parish X. That kind of thing was simply not kept.

Q And when you took over for Archbishop Cousins, did you discuss with him at that time or at any time the problem priests then in the Archdiocese that had abused children and that the Archdiocese had knowledge of?
A No, and I regret having not done so. It was just not on the radar screen at that time. Out of 500 and some priests, that wasn't the problem we were dealing with. The problem frankly we were dealing with was alcoholism and the two we found out later [page 92 begins] were connected, there's no doubt, but the major issue among clergy at the time was not on the radar screen, this question of the sex abuse of children, so it's not something we would have discussed. It would have been seen as individual cases, but even then Archbishop Cousins never talked about them with me.

Q Is it fair to say that within the clerical family, as you've kind of described it, that the sexual abuse just didn't get discussed?
A That's true. That's true.

Q And it only really got discussed when you had to deal with it, otherwise it just was left alone?
A I would say that's true, but I think it was also true of the whole society because it wasn't talked about in families, as we have now discovered. It wasn't talked about in other institutions, Scouts, public school system. It was all about the same way.

Q Archbishop Cousins, your predecessor, served as archbishop emeritus I think 10 years concurrent with your appointment?
A Yes.

Q And that I presume means he was available to you should you need to consult him during that time? [page 93 begins]
A He lived out in Oconomowoc, so yes, he would have been available.

Q Did you ever go to him during your tenure as archbishop of this Archdiocese and find out what he knew about priests who had become known to you to have offended children?
A I don't recall any conversation with him about any specific cases. He lived in Oconomowoc and naturally as he grew older, into his eighties, I would not want to have burdened him with that, so we never talked about it.

Q And when you -- your successor, of course, was Archbishop Dolan, and at the time that he succeeded you or at any time to this day, has he ever sought you out to discuss and find out what you knew about certain priests who were known to be offenders by the Archdiocese?
A I'll be honest and say he doesn't really do this, and I pride myself because he had so many files, he didn't have to. I think it was all pretty well-known to the lawyers. These files now are about as complete as they would have to be for anybody.

Q So is it your testimony that you and Archbishop Dolan have really never discussed the issue of [page 94 begins] sexual abuse by priests of the Archdiocese and what you knew and when you knew it with him?
A We've never had any kind of discussion about that.

Q Okay. Fair enough. You mentioned that there was -- when -- you mentioned Widera, that he was on some list of some kind, and what were you referring to as to Widera being on a list?

MR. SHRINER: I think you're referring to the list of priests, if I recall your testimony.

THE WITNESS: We have always published each year in the pastoral handbook a list of all the priests of the Archdiocese, so I would have seen his name there, and I confess that it took me a few years to learn the face and name of 500 and some priests, especially since there were also 500 and some religion order priests living in the Archdiocese, who often were more important to me, like the president of Marquette or whatever, than some of the priests of the Archdiocese that I wouldn't meet that often, and there were -- at least 2,500 sisters work in the Archdiocese, so when you put all of that together, to ask a bishop to know all of these people, I think is the old Latin proverb, "Nobody can be held to the impossible." [page 95 begins]

Q It is correct, however, that the presiding ordinary is the ultimate supervisor of every priest in the Archdiocese?
A I'll be honest, I'm not quite sure what that means because --

Q The one responsible for their conduct and overseeing their conduct in all matters of life and faith.
A But you take a diocese like Milan that has 2,500 priests, how does he take care of that? He has to delegate it.

Q Well, that's what I mean, you delegate it.
A You have to delegate it. That's what you do.

Q And the Archdiocese and the archbishop has resources available to it where the archbishop can delegate --
A Right.

Q -- to vicars, to chancellors, to vicar generals, to consulters, to the Priest Personnel Board and the like?
A And the deans of the districts.

Q And the deans of the deaneries --
A Right, sir.

Q -- to supervise? [page 96 begins]
A Right.

Q And ultimately it's the archbishop's responsibility, however?
A Yes, but I think you have to have some limitation on it. You can't say that superintendent of schools -- sure, the superintendent of schools is responsible for everybody teaching in the school system, but that's pretty hard to handle.

Q Has the Holy Father to your knowledge ever issued any policies or protocols that directed how the archbishop or presiding ordinary is to monitor priests so that they are not to be sexual -- to sexual abuse vulnerable children and what to do about it when they do?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Object. Question compound.

THE WITNESS: There's, of course, the Code of Canon Law which would be present.

Q Beyond that.
A There are other documents that come out from the Congregation of Clergy about priest conduct, but monitoring, I don't think there's any clear protocol on how that has to take place, and I tried to do an innovative thing back already when the [page 97 begins] first vicar, that would have been in the early '80s, to have a periodic review of each priest every three years, and 20 priests were trained to do these interviews of every priest. The priest could select from the 20 those he didn't want, and so we would select the one to do it, and the members of the priest -- or the parish council were consulted about the priest, his classmates were consulted in specific so that we could get a profile of what people thought about him and his -- how he was acting as a pastor or associate pastor, and then with all of that information collated, one of the trained priests would then interview him for hours on end about his life.
       We did -- and then the results of that would be sent to me with a separate question, is there anything you want the archbishop to know about you in particular that we haven't covered. I found this to be incredibly helpful. It gave us a chance to find out if the priest had made his retreat, if he had a spiritual director, what he was doing about his life, so we put that in already in the early '80s. I think it has fallen by the wayside because once you do something like that a few times, it kind of lost its savor, but it was [page 98 begins] one thing -- one way, I thought, I could find out more about the priests.
       It was very interesting -- if this is an aside, if I'm talking too much, my lawyer will ball me out later, but the question that took a good hour-and-a-half for each priest to respond to was, "What was the worst assignment you ever had?" And that gave priests, especially over 50, a chance to vent when they had never had a chance before that to vent about a bad pastor in their early years, and it gave me a chance then to talk to them about it because some of them were turning into the same kind of pastor.

Q If we're going to use the time that counsel is asking us to use in this, I'm going to be a little more directive here and I may have to interrupt you a few times. It's not to be rude, but if we really want to try to use this day to finish, I'm going to have to do that. Okay?
A All right.

MR. SHRINER: You are asking open-ended questions of a retired gentleman, so you're kind of getting what you're asking for.

MR. ANDERSON: And I want to accommodate what you're asking me to do. [page 99 begins]

MR. SHRINER: That's fine.

MR. ANDERSON: But I want to be respectful, but I want to be a little more directive so we can use this.

MR. SHRINER: That's fine.

Q I want to direct your attention to Father Bruce MacArthur. I'll represent to you he's a priest of the Diocese of Sioux Falls. He is one of the priests that is the subject of this litigation against the Archdiocese. You're aware of that; are you not?
A Only within the last weeks.

Q Okay. And my question to you is before the last week, had you heard his name?
A No.

Q Okay. I'll represent to you by his sworn testimony and other documentations that he had a history of molestation of children in the Diocese of Sioux Falls and was sent to the Archdiocese and worked in the Archdiocese for a period of time and it has been reported abused here as well as in Sioux Falls. My question to you is have you ever spoken to anybody, other than counsel, about what the Archdiocese knew about Bruce MacArthur and his [page 100 begins] abuse of children?
A No.

Q Okay. Do you have any knowledge of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee ever having sent any warning to any parishioners at any time that Bruce MacArthur had a history of sexual abuse before he was assigned and worked in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee?
A No.

[Rev. Siegfried F. Widera, in a photograph released by the U.S. Marshals Service in 2002. See Manhunt Launched for Fugitive Priest, by Wayne Drash, CNN, October 30, 2002.]
Q Okay. I'm going to direct your attention to Father Widera. You had mentioned that both the judge and the prosecutor had in some way -- maybe you faulted them in some way. Were you referring to the time in which he was prosecuted in 1973?
A Yes.

Q And what judge was that?
A I don't know the name.

Q And what prosecutor was that?
A I don't know the name.

Q And why is it you fault them for how they handled that?
A As I learned about the case more recently, about two years ago, I think is when I was -- went through the documents on it, the full documents, it struck me that to just give the man probation with that kind of a background without anything more [page 101 begins] than that was not -- was not wise, and so I fault them on that decision. Today I don't think that would have happened. I would say that today a judge would be much more severe on how he handled it.

Q When you reviewed those documents concerning Widera, did it strike you that after Widera was convicted and pled guilty to abuse of a child in '73 that he was continued in ministry with full faculties by Archbishop Cousins?
A I judge that this was done because it was what the court had agreed on, that provided he was moved from the Port Washington area, he could continue in ministry and that some kind of monitoring had to take place by the archbishop, I judge. I don't know what's in that document. Is there any document at all from the judge? If there is, I haven't seen one saying what it was.
       I would take it for granted, a bit of a recollection, that there was a probation officer set up, but I don't know what he ever did. There's no records of any of that, so I feel in a way that the judge should be somehow reprimanded, if that's the right word, but again we're applying to the year '73 what we know now in the year 2000 [page 102 begins] something, and maybe that's unfair for everybody.

Q Would you agree, Archbishop, that it is the job of the archbishop to make the decision whether Widera continues in ministry, not the judge?
A Ultimately it's the archbishop, that's true, but in this case at least, it seemed to me the two were working together and the archbishop was trying to follow through on whatever the decisions of the court were.

Q What in particular leads you to believe that the judge and the Archbishop Cousins were working together?
A Because Archbishop Cousins cites the judge when he -- as I recall the document, when he writes to the chancellor of Orange County, Orange Diocese, that what he's doing is consistent with the decisions of the judge, something of this sort there that seems -- I remember, and Archbishop Cousins was present for the court case and was able somehow to know everything that was going on.

Q I'm going to show you some documents. We've premarked them here so we can move through them quicker. The first document I'm going to show you, Archbishop, is -- on the bottom I marked it Exhibit 102, and this is an offense narrative. It would be [page 103 begins] on the signature of Sergeant Eugene Trombley, police investigator for Port Washington Police Department.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Counsel, while you're formulating your question, I'll lodge my objection. Simply show there's a lack of foundation with this witness. This is dated in July of 1973. I don't think Archbishop Weakland even came to Wisconsin until four years later, so I think it's asking for speculation. No foundation.

Q My first question to you, Archbishop, concerning Widera is when you came to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and you were installed here as archbishop, did you ever look at the Widera file?
A No.

Q When did you first learn that Widera was a convicted child molester in active ministry in your Archdiocese?
A I learned in 1981 when he applied to be incardinated into Archdiocese, that he had been convicted. I learned that probably in February or so of '81 when he applied to be incardinated into the Diocese of Orange.

Q And when you learned that he was a convicted and [page 104 begins] accused child molester in active ministry in your diocese, did you ask your predecessor or any other official in the Archdiocese how many other priests do we have in ministry in the Archdiocese who are offenders or who are suspected of having abused children and we know about it?
A I don't remember ever asking that question as you've formulated it.

MR. SHRINER: Mr. Anderson, I don't want to interrupt, but I think you've said in active ministry in the Archdiocese. My recollection of Widera is that he was at the time in California.

THE WITNESS: I had never seen the man.

MR. ANDERSON: I'll just say in active ministry then. I think that's fair.

Q And so we correct it, I think you learned in 1981 that Widera had actually been -- at the time you learned he was convicted in 1973, he was a priest of the Archdiocese but he had been excardinated out of the Archdiocese and incardinated into Orange, correct?
A No.

Q No?
A No. That happened in 1981 because I signed the [page 105 begins] document of excardination so he could enter the Diocese of Orange, and that's why the vicar of clergy had come to me saying that he asked to be incardinated into Orange and the chancellor of Orange wrote me a letter, which is required by church law, stating that they wanted to incardinate him into Orange.

MR. SHRINER: But he was already there was my point.


MR. SHRINER: Even though he hadn't yet been incardinated into Orange, he had been in California during all the time that the archbishop was in Milwaukee.

MR. ANDERSON: Understood and agreed.

Q Look at Exhibit 102. I just want to direct your attention to a portion of it. At the middle it says 7-2-73, the second sentence states, "He did admit that there had been acts committed by the father, such as the father playing with Blank penis and that he had been forced to commit acts of sodomy upon the father." When did you first learn that the police -- have you ever reviewed this police report? [page 106 begins]
A No.

Q Have you ever reviewed anything in preparation for this deposition?
A Very little.

Q What?
A I did a deposition about two years ago in which the Widera cases were there, so I saw certainly some of the material then, but I do not remember at that time seeing this page.

Q Add had you ever learned from any source that Father Widera confessed to having abused many children to the police and officials of the Archdiocese?
A I certainly learned in February of 1981 that there had been the court case in '73 in which he had confessed to molesting some, yes.

Q Okay. And how many?
A I had no idea.

Q Look at this, at the last paragraph, 102, "After talking to Father Widera for a considerable length of time, he did admit that he had played with a number of boys' privates and that he allowed at least two of these boys to commit an act of sodomy on him." Is that information consistent with the knowledge you received in '81? [page 107 begins]
A I did not receive anything specific like this. This is the first time I've seen this. I did know that there must have been a police blot that was pretty bad. That's all I can remember about it. That's why I faulted the judge.

Q Okay. Exhibit 103 is simply, I'll represent to you, an entry of a plea of guilty, and I don't have any questions about it, other than have you reviewed the court records concerning Widera?
A I've never seen this before.

Q Okay. I'm going to show you 103. I'm going to skip 103. I'm going to show you Exhibit 103-B. This would be a Judgment of Conviction and a Sentence Withheld where probation is ordered. And this is the official court record reflecting his finding, and it's a Judge Warren A. Grady at the lower left you'll see, and the district attorney is James M. LaPointe, at least as reflected by this document. Is this the judge and the DA that you were faulting for having allowed Widera to continue in ministry where he abused youth?
A If he was the acting judge of the case, yes.

Q I'm showing you Exhibit 104, and this is from the Widera file, Archbishop. At the top it says, "Archdiocesan Personnel Board," regarding Widera [page 108 begins] and the second paragraph states, "Father Widera was arrested for, as the Milwaukee Sentinel stated it, sexual perversion with young boys. He appeared in" -- is that pronounced --

MR. SHRINER: Ozaukee.

Q -- "Ozaukee County court yesterday, August 13th, '73, and was sentenced to three years probation." So it's correct to say that the Archdiocesan files reflected that your predecessor knew this guy was convicted, correct?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. No foundation. The question asked if the predecessor archbishop knew this. I have no problem with the document, but what Archbishop Cousins may or may not have known, I don't think it --

MR. ANDERSON: Well, let's just ask Archdiocese. Does that work?


Q It's correct to say the Archdiocese files reflect the Archdiocese knew he was a convicted offender?
A If the communication is from the archbishop to the personnel board, I would say yes, this is an official document. [page 109 begins]

Q I'm going to show you Exhibit 105, and this would be on the stationery of St. Joseph's High School, Kenosha. It is dated September 3rd, '73, is a conversation with Father Rolland Glass. Do you know him to be then a priest of the Archdiocese?
A Yes.

Q Okay. And it's from Father Paul Esser, E-S-S-E-R, and he was also a priest. Was he in an official position at that time to your knowledge?
A I believe he was the principal of St. Joseph's High School at the time.

MR. SHRINER: In 1973 you're asking?


THE WITNESS: 1973, but I guess I would have to check the files.

Q And he makes several notations and observations here, and I'm going to read a few and ask if you know anything about or have heard anything about any of this information. At number three, it states, "He was a loner. He had difficulty relating with adults. He had instant rapport with young boys and spent a lot of time with them." And at seven, "A male grade school teacher saw Father Siegfried fooling around with boys of another [page 110 begins] teacher." My question to you is is this a document you've reviewed before?
A No, I've never seen this before.

Q At number nine it says, "He coached the boys in basketball. He would be in the shower with the boys all in the nude," and number 11, "Parishioners came forward after the fact and indicated incidents that they had noticed and warnings they had given their own children about not letting father touch them." My question to you is do you have any knowledge of any official of the Archdiocese either at this time or at any time giving warnings to the parishioners about what they knew about Widera?
A This is the first time I've seen this, so I have no idea what would have been done at that time, and since it was a public trial, it was in the newspapers, I'm sure that the people had access to that information. It was in the newspapers of Ozaukee County.

Q Do you have any knowledge that this document was ever released to either law enforcement or to the public?
A I have no knowledge about that.

Q It goes on at 11 -- excuse me -- at 12, it looks like, "Father Glass' mother told Glass that Father [page 111 begins] Siegfried on at least one occasion had a boy sleep with him overnight in the rectory." Is it correct, Archbishop, to say that if a priest has a kid sleeping with him in the rectory, that's suspicious of sexual abuse?
A Suspicious, yes.

Q Clearly inappropriate?
A Yes.

Q And something that you would at least as the archbishop or as the abbot primate or a superior expect to be reported to you if somebody knew about it?
A Yes.

Q Number 13 says, "Father Glass did confront Father Siegfried, quote, 'Circumstances are forcing me to draw certain conclusions about you and your conduct with little boys,'" unquote. Do you know if Father Glass or any other official of the Archdiocese or Father Esser ever made this information in this document known to the parishioners or the public?
A I don't know anything about that, and I'm not sure where this document came from, from what files.

Q It came from the Siegfried file, Siegfried Widera file, maintained by the Archdiocese.
A By the Archdiocese? [page 112 begins]

Q Yes.
A Because it's not clear whether Archbishop Cousins saw this or not.

Q Number 14 states, "There was a pattern of conduct with small boys." Did you or your predecessor to your knowledge ever warn anybody about their knowledge of Siegfried Widera's pattern of conduct with small boys?
A I have no idea what my predecessor may have done. Certainly I couldn't have done anything because I didn't know about the case until he was transferred to Orange.

Q There is reference in a note to an Allan Klopp -- excuse me -- Allan Klopp, K-L-O-P-P, in the Widera case.

MR. SHRINER: It's not in this document,

Mr. Anderson. It's some other you're referring to?

MR. ANDERSON: It's one of the vicar logs.

Q Do you have any knowledge of that name?
A No, I don't.

Q I'm going to show you Exhibit 106, but before I do, I'm going to go back to -- I'm going to refer to another exhibit, and it's Exhibit 132, Archbishop. [page 113 begins] And I'll give you a copy here. And this is a West Allis Police Department incident report, and I'm going to direct your attention to the last page of it in the interview portion where Allan Klopp, K-L-O-P-P, retired officer, Widera's 1973 confession, and it states, "On 5/20/2002 I made contact with Allan Klopp. He confirmed that he had been employed by the Port Washington Police Department and is now retired. I explained the reason I was calling and asking him what he remembered about the 1973 confession made by Widera."
       And then I'm going to read something, and then I'm going to ask you what you know about it. "Allan told me, quote, 'He, Widera, was drinking the boys' urine. He would pull off the side of the road and have the boys get out of the vehicle. He would have the boys drop their pants and urinate into his mouth. That's what I remember. I had to leave the interview two or three times.'" My question to you, Archbishop, is had you received this information or heard of this conduct by Widera and/or the Archdiocese knowledge of it before I read this to you?
A No, this is the first time I've heard of it. [page 114 begins]

Q You'll see in the last paragraph of this document, or a portion of it, it states, "Allan told me he tried to find out what happened with Widera's case. The only answer he received from Ozaukee County DA's office in the 1970s was that it was turned over to the church to handle." My question to you, Archbishop, is who was to handle Widera in the church?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Show my objection. The Widera I think that you're referring to is in the 1970s preceding Archbishop Weakland's tenure.

MR. ANDERSON: Yes, I think it does reflect that.

Q And I'm asking if you know who it was that was supposed to handle this in the church?
A I'm sure there must have been some arrangement made between the judge and Archbishop Cousins about what Archbishop Cousins was supposed to do.

MR. SHRINER: Do you know what it is?


Q I'm going to show you Exhibit 106. This is handwritten, and I'm just going to direct you to a [page 115 begins] portion of it, Archbishop, the handwritten date is February 12th, 1974. Dear Father Theisen, T-H-E-I-S-E-N, on the signature of Mrs. Neill Flood, the vice president of St. Andrew's School Board, and at the second paragraph it states, "The children in our school literally follow him around. He is so kind and shows so much interest in them." This is a letter. Who is Father Theisen?
A Theisen.

Q Theisen.
A He would have been at that time either a chair or at least a member of the Priest Personnel Board.

Q And I read this letter to be a letter from a member of the school board, a parishioner, I presume to Father Theisen basically saying this guy is really a good guy, right?
A Right.

Q Do you know if Father Theisen or then Archbishop Cousins made any effort to inform Mrs. Flood or others on the board that he was a dangerous guy, not a good guy?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Object. Foundation.

THE WITNESS: I have no idea what happened there.

BY MR. ANDERSON: [page 116 begins]
Q Exhibit 107 is a response from Father Theisen to Mrs. Flood dated February 19th, '74, and you'll see the second paragraph, second sentence he says, and this is Theisen now as executive secretary of the personnel board, "We are happy to hear that he is doing well in school and shows so much interest in children." When you see this, Archbishop, would you agree that Father Theisen, the Archdiocesan personnel board, had an obligation to Mrs. Flood to tell her that Widera was a convicted child molester?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Object. Foundation. Asking witness to interpret mind of third person.

THE WITNESS: I don't know if it was necessary to tell Mrs. -- what was her name -- Flood.


THE WITNESS: But I certainly do think that somebody, probably the probation officer, should have been alerted to this.

Q Well, these are Archdiocesan records and she's writing not to the probation officer, she's writing to the Archdiocese officers. Is it -- would you agree, Archbishop, that Father Theisen and the [page 117 begins] Archdiocese officer should have told Mrs. Flood that if he's around small kids, they're at risk because we know that he has already abused kids and was convicted of it?
A I can't interpret their mind on this.

Q Don't you think the Archdiocese owed Mrs. Flood and these kids that are being referred to in this document a warning at least?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Asking the witness to speculate as to what may or may not have done.

THE WITNESS: I think certainly the principal of the school should have been alerted, but I don't know about Mrs. Flood.

Q Okay. I'm showing you Exhibit 108. I'm going to try to move through this quick. This is a handwritten letter from another woman, Agnus, it looks like, Moran in Delavan, and at the second paragraph she writes similar language about Widera. "He is so well liked. I so hope we can keep him permanently. He is so good with the school children." I'll represent to you at this time Widera is on a temporary assignment in Delavan, St. Andrew's, and she's writing to Father Theisen [page 118 begins] at the personnel board urging to keep him there. Would you agree, Archbishop, that Mrs. Moran should have been warned and told what the Archdiocese knew?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Object to foundation.

THE WITNESS: I'm not sure that would have helped any. I think certainly the pastor or others should have been informed.

Q Does it appear to you on reading of these two letters from parishioners that they knew that Widera had been convicted of molesting children?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Object. Requesting mind of a third person.

THE WITNESS: I couldn't answer that. I don't know if anybody reads the newspapers from Ozaukee County, but if they had, they would have known it.

Q Do you think that the parishioners if they had known in 1974 and Mrs. Flood and Mrs. Moran and those that knew that Widera was around these kids as they were writing these letters to keep Widera there, that they would have let the kids be around Widera if they knew that he had been molesting kids [page 119 begins] and urinating in their mouth and having them perform sodomy upon him and all of those other things?
A I agree that the actions of Father Widera are horrible. That's why I can't imagine why the judge put him on probation for three years, but that's beside the point because this is the kind of thing you would have expected.

Q Well, I can't understand why you can't imagine why the judge would have put him on probation. I can't understand, Archbishop, why he was allowed to continue in ministry at Delavan without warning and without reporting to those who were unwary. Can you explain why that wasn't done?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Objection. No foundation for this witness.

THE WITNESS: I have no idea why they felt that this was not necessary to let these two people know. I can't enter their mentality.

Q There's some provisions in the Canon Law and in practice where there's an effort to avoid scandal; is there not?
A Yes.

MR. SHRINER: Mr. Anderson, when it's [page 120 begins] convenient, we've gone about 15, 20 minutes over when we were going to break for lunch.


Q Would you agree knowing that, that for the Archdiocesan officials to let the parishioners at Delavan in St. Andrew's know that Widera was a known child molester of many children could subject the Archdiocese and the church to scandal?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Again, no foundation for this witness.

THE WITNESS: If you take scandal in the strict sense in which it is used in the Code of Canon Law, you would have to say that there's no scandal involved because scandal means something that would influence other people to commit the bad actions, and in this case the word scandal is being used in a more -- I think you're using it in a broader way than the code would use the word scandal.

MR. ANDERSON: Is this a good time to take a break?


THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We are off the record at 12:48 p.m. [page 121 begins]

(Lunch recess, 12:48 p.m. to 1:46 p.m.)

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We are back on the record at 1:46 p.m.

Q Archbishop, we were talking about the Archdiocese knowledge of and dealings with Father Widera, and I'm going to direct you back to the time frame of 1973 after his conviction. At some point you became aware that after that he was assigned to a parish at St. Andrew's at Delavan?
A Delavan, yes.

Q Yes. And the Archdiocese records reflect that he was additionally there under assignment called AP pro tem for almost two years. What does that mean?
A AP --

Q Would that be associate pastor pro tem?
A Could be. Could be.

Q A temporary kind of thing?
A Right.

Q Do you have any knowledge as to why it -- he was AP pro tem as opposed to simply associate pastor?
A No, I don't.

Q Records also show that he was placed on probation but he was also being treated at the request of the [page 122 begins] Archdiocese by Dr. Leo Graham?
A Yes.

Q Do you know Leo Graham?
A I knew Leo Graham. He's now deceased.

Q He's deceased now. And I know that you're not the archbishop that originally was a part of Widera's referral to him, but my question to you is did you in your tenure as archbishop refer child molesters or those presuspected of it to Leo Graham for treatment?
A Probably the first several and then after that they would have been referred to clinics and places that took care of priests, so we didn't use Leo Graham after that as much as we had at the beginning.

Q And why not?
A It's because the places that took care of priests were more highly specialized in this kind of work.

Q Did you stop referring offending priests to Graham because of his troubles with the law and sex with patients?
A No, that was much, much later.

Q Okay. What priests did you refer to Leo Graham who had offended or were suspected of offending children for evaluation or treatment?
A Well, the first one that comes to mind would be [page 123 begins] Father Effinger.

Q And at the time you knew that Effinger had abused kids?
A Yes.

Q And you also continued Effinger in ministry after that, did you not?
A After his referral to Leo Graham, after Leo wrote me saying he thought he could enter active ministry again.

Q And you continued Effinger in ministry for how long?
A That would have been from about '80 until the early '90s.

Q And Father Effinger sexually abused kids during that period, did he not?
A At the time no references came to us in that period, but later they did, yes, after. So during that period we had no victims come forward. Effinger also had an alcohol problem so we sent him away several times to check that, and at that time I recall distinctly asking the evaluators who were doing this if they saw any sign of any recidivism and they said no, and I remember once getting a note --

Q I'm going to ask you to -- I think you answered the [page 124 begins] question, Archbishop.
A Okay. Fine.

Q What other priests besides Effinger did you send to Graham?
A No one comes to mind at this point.

Q There were others but you just don't remember who now?
A I can't say that. I can't say that.

Q What other facility besides -- or treatment counselors did you utilize -- let me ask it this way. What other facilities did you send known offenders to for treatment or evaluation besides Graham?
A We sent them for evaluation to a place where there was a Dr. Gillette up somewhere in the Madison Diocese, I believe. They had an institute for evaluation for alcohol, any other kinds of problems, and they were quite good, quite good and those evaluations should be in the files.

Q And in each of those instances it's correct to say that you got authority from the priest to allow release of their records to you as the superior to evaluate their fitness?
A We made sure of that, so I'd say in almost all the cases that happened. I don't know of anywhere it [page 125 begins] didn't happen.

Q Okay. And what other facilities? Do you remember sending any priests to St. Luke's?
A You know, I can't remember. It's amazing that we wouldn't have sent somebody to St. Luke's. I think we sent someone to an institute in St. Louis that was --

Q Who was that?
A As I recall, it was attached to the university there.

Q Who was the priest, I mean?
A Oh, who was the priest we sent to St. Louis? Let me think about -- I can see his face. It will come to me.

Q Was it Neuberger?
A No, and by the way, Neuberger was the other name I was thinking of here.

Q Okay.
A I don't think we sent Neuberger there. I can't recall.

Q That's all right. Do you recall sending other offenders to the Servants of Paraclete facility at Jemez Springs in New Mexico?
A We sent one man there, yes.

Q Who? [page 126 begins]
A Jerry Lanser.

Q Okay. And Lanser was known to have abused children also?
A Not to my knowledge, not to my knowledge. I'm not quite sure of the problem with Lanser. I thought it was adult, but I might be wrong.

Q Okay. Was there a Priest Hanser that you sent to treatment?
A I don't know where Hanser went for treatment.

Q He did abuse children on your watch, did he not?
A Yes, he did.

Q And he was sent to treatment on your watch?
A Yes, but I couldn't tell you where Hanser went. Hanser was a difficult case.

Q Okay.

MR. SHRINER: He hasn't asked.

Q I think you answered.
A Thank you.

Q And in all of these cases where priests offended children and they were sent for treatment on your watch, you allowed each of these priests to continue in ministry in some capacity, did you not?
A Yes.

Q And you allowed them to continue in ministry with [page 127 begins] the history of having abused children without providing any warning to any of the parishioners where the priest continued in ministry, correct?
A No, that wouldn't be true.

Q Give me an instance in which you warned the parishioners that you knew that a priest was an offender and you as the archbishop or the Archdiocese made a disclosure directly to the unwary?
A We informed the parish councils and the staff and that's it.

Q In what instance did you inform a parish council and staff?
A That would have been for almost all the cases after about '90, 1990.

Q Okay. And before '90 --
A So Hanser would have been a part of that.

Q And would it be fair to say that you informed parish councils and staff, those are all employees of the -- either the parish or the Archdiocese, right?
A No.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. The question is compound. Parish and Archdiocese, they're different. [page 128 begins]

MR. ANDERSON: I misspoke. I'm sorry.

THE WITNESS: Parish council were elected and the staff would have been laypeople, too, hired.

Q And in the instances where the parish council and staff were informed of a history of a known offender, that would have been after 1992?
A That would be right.

Q And before 1992, in no instance was any parishioner -- well, before -- let me ask it this way. Why did you begin informing the -- in how many instances did you actually inform the church council and the staff that you were placing and/or continuing a known offender in ministry after 1992?
A About five or six.

Q What -- what priests?
A Oh, my. I'd have to have a list in front of me.

MR. SHRINER: The answer was one, did you say?

THE WITNESS: No, I said I'd have to have a list in front of me.

MR. SHRINER: I'm sorry.

Q Do you have any memory specifically today of having [page 129 begins] directed that any church council and/or staff be so informed?
A Do I have a documentation to this effect?

Q Do you have a memory of -- in connection with any of these five or six?
A Absolutely. Absolutely.

Q What parishes were informed?
A I can't tell you right off because I'd have to take a look at who they are. Some were parishes but someone like Hanser was also a hospital chaplain, see.

Q And in the cases where you placed them in chaplaincy, did you inform the people who entrusted the care of their children in the chaplaincy of the known risk of child molestation?
A Certainly we did.

Q How so?
A The administrators were always informed.

Q Do you have any memory of any time where any particular administrator was informed regarding the known risk of any particular offender --
A Yes.

Q -- after 1992?
A Well, certainly Hanser's case.

Q Who was that that was informed? [page 130 begins]
A The person?

Q Yes.
A I wouldn't know. I wouldn't know.

Q Any memory of anybody other than Hanser?
A I can't think of any offhand.

Q Okay. Before 1992, is it fair to say then, Archbishop, that the practice was to put the priests in ministries -- back in ministry, either a parish or a chaplaincy, and not tell the laity that you knew that he was an offender?
A I would say that was the practice.

Q Archbishop, I want to direct your attention to Exhibit 114, and I'll get a copy here. This pertains to Leo Graham, and this would be a two-page letter from him to the then chancellor in 1976. Again this predates you as archbishop, and at the fourth paragraph it begins by stating, and this is in the words of Leo Graham to Chancellor Sampon, "I am the de facto probation officer. The actual probation officer, who is a member of St. Andrew's Parish in Delavan, has been content to have virtually no contact with Father Widera except written forms, which father must fill out under state statute." Did you know that Graham was the de facto probation officer? [page 131 begins]
A I did not.

Q Do you find that to be -- what's your reaction to that?
A I'm surprised. I'm surprised that was permitted by the court.

Q Isn't it the Archdiocese that -- through the chancellor and the archbishop that hired Graham to treat, evaluate and render opinions concerning Widera?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Show my objection. Lack of foundation. Asking a witness to speculate as to events he was not party to.

THE WITNESS: You know, I can't judge the case that way.

Q Well, do you know who hired Graham to work with Widera? It was the Archdiocese, wasn't it?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: No foundation.

THE WITNESS: I take it, yes.

Q Okay.
A So what was your question, please?

Q The question was is who hired Graham to work with Widera?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Again -- [page 132 begins]

THE WITNESS: But not as probation officer.

Q Right. At the second page, the first paragraph, it states, "I insist on weekly meetings since the publicity and incarceration would bring incalculable harm to father and extreme embarrassment in the press to the archbishop and the Diocese." Have you seen that passage before?
A No, I haven't.

Q Is it correct to say that the practice was then to keep Widera's history secret among a small circle of officials to avoid embarrassment to the archbishop --

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me.

Q -- and the Diocese?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Simply show my objection. Asking what the practice was in 1976 prior to Archbishop Weakland's time. No foundation.

THE WITNESS: I think this statement just stands as his opinion.

Q Does that also reflect a practice that you knew to [page 133 begins] have been --

MR. ROTHSTEIN: No foundation.

Q -- in the case of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: No foundation.

THE WITNESS: Does that reflect a practice --

Q To have been in place in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee?
A No, there was no such policy.

Q Well, a practice is, of course, a conduct not necessarily in accord with a written policy but the way one acts as a corporation, so --
A I have no way of knowing.

Q Okay. This says it would -- "Publicity and incarceration would bring incalculable harm to father." It appears that the chancellor and Leo Graham are concerned about Father Widera, correct?
A I would agree.

Q And then it says, "And extreme embarrassment in the press to the archbishop and the Diocese." It would appear that they're concerned about bringing embarrassment to the archbishop and the Diocese, correct? [page 134 begins]

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Asking -- no foundation and also compound. Asking not only about the writer but just the recipient, too.

THE WITNESS: That would have been Leo Graham's opinion.

Q Expressed to the then Chancellor Sampon, correct?
A Yes.

Q And do you see anything in this recitation or in anyplace else in the -- your review of the Widera documents where any concern was expressed by officials of the Archdiocese for the well-being of the children?
A I'd have to read all the documentation to see if that occurs in any of the paragraphs. I don't think Leo Graham was thinking about this here because his responsibility was Widera.

Q Have you ever seen anything from Chancellor Sampon, who is a recipient of this exhibit, that reflects that he expressed concern in documents about the children?
A I don't remember reading any documents of his until more recently, and I haven't gone through them all.

Q Widera continued to abuse after his conviction and in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee until he left for [page 135 begins] California, did he not?
A I don't know.

Q Okay. I'm showing you what we've marked Exhibit 101, and I'll represent to you this has been produced to us, Archbishop, as a part of the Widera file maintained by the Archdiocese, and it is a log. Some places it may be referred to as a vicar log. Do you have knowledge of a vicar log or what this document is?
A I don't think there was a vicar log at that time. What date would this be, '76?

Q Well, you can see this starts on June 29, '76.
A There was no vicar for clergy in '76.

Q What do you think this document would be as maintained by the Archdiocese then?
A It could have been a log of an ombudsman that Archbishop Cousins used for particular cases.

Q That's right. I forgot about that. I knew that. Who was the ombudsman?
A At that time the ombudsman was -- now deceased.

MR. MUTH: Weber.

THE WITNESS: Weber. Thank you. Weber, Don Weber.

Q Let's look at the Archdiocese log here. And you'll [page 136 begins] see on 6/29/76 at the first paragraph, "Archbishop called. Mike Short, a therapist in Elkhorn, had called in to Bob Sampon. Short is a counselor and now advocate for Blank," a family blacked out. "She reported to Short that her son had been sexually molested by Father Widera while on a weekend fishing outing. Son is age 13." Do you know anything about that?
A No, I don't.

Q The third entry down is 7/1. It states, "At Swan, 10:30 a.m., Widera admitted that he made a slip," and slip is placed in quotes. "He took the boy fishing alone," et cetera. He goes on to state, "He has been seeing Leo Graham for past three years. He is, quote, 'On probation' with the law, ends in August." Did -- do you know anything about this?
A No, I don't.

Q It goes on to state, "He was apparently shook by this discovery and sought advice what to do." That is referring to Widera?
A Yes.

Q "I," meaning the preparer of this document, "informed him that he would be transferred and would need inpatient treatment." Was it then the [page 137 begins] practice of the Archdiocese, as you understood it to have been, to on a report like this of abuse to transfer the priest?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. No foundation. Asking the witness to comment on practices before his time.

THE WITNESS: I have no idea what it was, but it's a strange thing for me to see someone write that he would probably have to go to an inpatient treatment and then say he's to be transferred, which decision would only have been made after the treatment. Strange.

Q In any case, it is the province and the authority of the archbishop to make the decision to remove, to transfer and/or to restrict a priest of the Archdiocese?
A Yes.

Q And so only the then archbishop could do this?
A Right.

Q Okay. The next sentence states, "I would try to keep the lid on the thing so no police record would be made." Was it then the strategy of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to keep the lid on sexual abuse by priests so that the police would not know [page 138 begins] and the unwary public would not find out?
A I have no way of knowing what the policy was, if there was a policy at that time, and so I can't answer what it might have been, but I admit it certainly looks strange to me.

Q Well, Archbishop, wouldn't you agree that the archbishop's ombudsman writing that, "I will try to keep the lid on this thing so no police record would be made," looks like a coverup?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Proceed.

MR. ANDERSON: You can answer.

THE WITNESS: This is not somebody who had any power to do that, so it's a suggestion on his part, on the ombudsman's part, and I don't know that it carries much weight.

Q Well, look at the top of this document. This is in consultation with the archbishop. You'll see that it was the archbishop that called Mike Short and initiated this arrangement. Do you see that?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. It may be unintentional. The entry that, counsel, you're referring to is June 29th, whereas the other date that you next referred to is two days later. They're two different entries. [page 139 begins]

MR. ANDERSON: Let me just correct that. Let me correct that.

Q Look at the bottom of this document. You'll see at this -- it states, "Called and left above information with Ralph F. for the archbishop."
A Yes.

Q Ralph F. was whom?
A Ralph Fliss.

Q Ralph Fliss. The recent bishop of the Diocese of Superior?
A Yes.

Q Now retired?
A (Witness nods head.)

Q And he was then an official of the Archdiocese and he was vice chancellor and secretary to Archbishop Cousins; was he not?
A Yes.

Q So I'll ask you this question knowing that this is being -- that he called and left the above information with Father Fliss --
A Fliss.

Q -- for the Archbishop, this looks like a coverup to keep the lid on, doesn't it?
A No, it looks like that's what the ombudsman is [page 140 begins] suggesting to the archbishop.

Q And did the archbishop keep a lid on it?
A I have no idea.

Q When is the first time this Archdiocese made any disclosure to the public that they knew that Widera was a child abuser sodomizing children, urinating in their mouth and the like?
A When?

Q Yes.
A I have no idea.

Q Have you seen any documents in the Widera file where the Archdiocese took the lid off?
A I never saw the Widera files as such, and I -- all I saw was the letter asking that he be incardinated into the Diocese of Orange, so I can't tell you as far as Archbishop Cousins ever did anything.

Q In the next paragraph, Archbishop, there is a recitation in connection with the mom of this child who was abused and --

MR. SHRINER: Are you still on the first page?

MR. ANDERSON: Yes, and it begins with, "Immediately called Mike."

Q And in the middle of this I'm going to read [page 141 begins] something and then ask you a question. "She called Short," that is the mom. "He feels that the boy needs some help to re-establish spiritual values and attitudes towards church and priests. Blank had not gone to police." That is the victim's mom, I presume, and the "not" is underlined. Do you see that, Archbishop?
A Yes, I do.

Q It goes on to state, "She is separated from husband and apparently feared reprisals from the church if she would go to the police." My question to you, Archbishop, is what do you know about the practice of your predecessor, Ralph Fliss, his secretary and Father Theisen and other officials of the Archdiocese about their practices at that time that would cause a mother of a victim to fear reprisal from them?
A I find that startling and sad and especially for the victims, and I have absolutely no way of explaining it.

Q It goes on to state, "She does not want priest from parish to counsel the boy. Short feels that alcohol may be Widera's basic problem. He will contact Blank and convince her not to act with police if church moves W," that is Widera, "from [page 142 begins] parish and gets him help as well as counsels the boy." Are you aware that Widera was moved out of St. Andrew's in Delavan?
A I learned that about two years ago before that deposition -- before the California cases. That's the first I had heard of it.

Q And what did -- what do you understand the reason was for moving him out of Delavan, St. Andrew's?
A At that time I learned that it was -- that he had offended in Delavan and for that reason.

Q At the next page, under the date 7/7, the last sentence I will read and then ask you a question, Archbishop. It states, "Graham feels that, quote, 'one slip,' unquote, in three years is not too bad a track record." This is one slip after a criminal conviction in three years. I appreciate you weren't the archbishop then and your predecessor was, but did any of your predecessors or any other officials of the Archdiocese ever express such a view to you?
A No.

Q Have you read this before?
A No.

Q When you do read it and see it, what do you think? What does it make you think? [page 143 begins]
A It makes me say that probably back in '76 people were not really aware of the harm being done to victims and the severity of that harm as we are now, as we know now.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Just so the record is clear, the statement that counsel read is a statement being reported of Mr. Graham, not of the archbishop, I believe.

MR. ANDERSON: That's correct, but I think we already established that they called and left the above information with Ralph Fliss for the archbishop.

MR. SHRINER: This is below information.

Q On 7/8, the first sentence states, "Graham called. Probation officer is actually member of his parish, attends W's mass regularly. If W is moved out of the state, probation officer will ask questions why. Also, if W is moved before probation period is over, PO will find out the reason." I read that to be that this writer and those involved that Widera are attempting to keep this secret so that the probation officer, police and the prosecutor doesn't know that he has reoffended. How do you read it? [page 144 begins]
A Whoever wrote this seems to be saying that that's what Leo Graham was counseling or saying.

Q The next page at 7/9, this sentence says, "Reported to Archbishop. He agreed that Father W should continue with Graham, should not be moved out of state for hospitalization. Will move Father W after probation period is over (I shall find out when from Graham). He said I can call Paul Noelke Co. attorney, county attorney." Did you know this had all been reported to the archbishop?
A No.

Q And when you read this, what's your reaction to it, Archbishop?
A It's hard to enter into Archbishop Cousin's mind. I don't know what he would have been thinking.

Q We represent three boys that were abused by Father Widera at St. Andrew's in Delavan in this time frame. None of the family members report that they knew anything about Widera having a history of any kind, much less this or anything like it. Do you have any knowledge of the Archdiocese attempting to make it known to any of the parishioners at Delavan that they knew that Widera not only had been convicted but had reoffended and was at a continuing risk to reoffend? [page 145 begins]
A I'm surprised that somebody in Delavan did not know of this because it was a public case in Ozaukee County. That's not that far away. I would have expected that a rumor of that would have gone to Delavan. That's not that far away. I can't imagine it being otherwise.

Q Archbishop, everything that I just read to you, you didn't know any of this until I read it to you today, correct?
A Right.

Q How can you expect the parents in Delavan who are parishioners to know the facts about Widera that you yourself as archbishop didn't know until today?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me.

MR. ANDERSON: No, just a minute. If you have a legal objection, give it.


MR. ANDERSON: What is it?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: The legal objection is the question assumes that's what the archbishop said. That's not what he said.

MR. ANDERSON: You can answer the question.

THE WITNESS: It seems to me, though, if something today happened in Ozaukee and was in the [page 146 begins] press and pictures and so on, that this would also be known in Delavan. It -- I'm not sure how all of this could work out, at least not in today's world.

Q Directing your attention to the 8/20 entry, item D.

MR. SHRINER: On the next page.

Q On the next page of Exhibit 101, it states, "Called Henke and Widera." At that time Henke was a pastor. Do you know who Henke is?
A Yes. He died many years ago.

Q He was a priest of the Archdiocese?
A Yes, he was.

Q It states, "Called Henke and Widera -- they agreed that W would go, quote, 'On vacation,' unquote, California, exclamation point, as soon as Waldbauer would find supply help. Then he would be transferred. W should tell the people only that he's going on vacation." Archbishop, to tell the people, that is the parishioners, that Widera was going on vacation was a lie, wasn't it?
A I don't know. He had a brother in California. I found out later he was going to visit his brother.

Q Had you ever read this passage before?
A No, I haven't. [page 147 begins]

Q Now having read it and having read -- having it read to, would you agree that this is documentation in the Archdiocese file that Father Widera and officials of the Archdiocese are attempting to mislead the parishioners about Widera's fitness and risk to their children?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Object. Foundation.

THE WITNESS: I don't know how to answer that. It certainly is a way of getting him out of the parish, which is probably what they were trying to do, and hadn't yet made up their minds what the next step would be.

Q Well, this document evidences that he had abused in the parish after having been put on probation and they were trying to keep a lid on it, right?
A That's what it prima facie sounds like.

Q And this passage I just read is stating that Father Henke and Widera agreed that he would go on vacation but, in fact, they're transferring him out quietly and secretly without notifying the unwary as to the true reasons for doing it, correct?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. No foundation for this witness. This witness came a year after.

THE WITNESS: I didn't read it the way [page 148 begins] you did, counsel. "Then he would be transferred," being after he had been away for awhile in California, so I don't -- that decision hadn't been made.

Q We can read what they wrote here, and they wrote that -- they said they're going to tell the people that he was going on vacation, right, so we know that much, right?
A Yes.

Q Nowhere did they write here that they were going to tell the people that we know he reoffended, right?
A No.

Q Nowhere did they write here that we're going to tell the people that we even put him there knowing he was a convicted offender, right?

A I would say right, but I still marvel at this and that -- even in that day and age.
Q I marvel for perhaps different reasons, Archbishop. Don't you find this to be shocking?
A Well, I have to admit I really am concerned about the fact that the victims are not talked about here, and that to me is the grave concern. I think there's also a naivety with regard to the offender, that I would say yes. [page 149 begins]

Q I think that's one issue and I think that's -- you know, that's real, but what is also evident here, wouldn't you agree, is that all of the energy is given to the protection of Father Widera and the reputation of the Archdiocese at the peril of the children?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Same objection. No foundation for this witness.

THE WITNESS: At the peril of the children, yes, that's true in a way. I think the disagreement would probably be if you had Archbishop Cousins here talking, is that he really believed that people could be cured, predators, or at least if not cured, that's a bad word perhaps, that they could keep that attraction, if you call it addiction, under control, and I think he really believed that you could put in place ways of doing that. Now, today psychiatrists and psychologists, probation officers might have a different take on it, but at least at that time I think that would have been the concept that most bishops would have had.

Q It sounds, Archbishop, like that your suggestion that your predecessor Cousins believed that Widera [page 150 begins] could be treated and helped?
A Yes, I think that's correct.

Q And that's reflected in this here?
A Right.

Q And that would be his -- or your explanation for why he would be doing this, right?
A Yes.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Object. No foundation.

Q Can you offer an explanation as to why then he wouldn't let the police know that his priest had reoffended after he and the officials of the Archdiocese knew that he had been convicted and what --
A I think that -- the only answer I can give for that is how a bishop would have conceived his relationship to a priest at that time, and I know that judges did make bishops kind of responsible, almost like probation officers, but it makes no sense to me to do that because the relationship with a bishop to the priest is quite different than being a probation officer, and here I marvel at the fact that all of this is being handled by an archbishop and Leo Graham.

Q And Ralph Fliss and Father Henke and other [page 151 begins] officials of the Archdiocese?
A Well, Father Henke was not an official. He was a pastor.

Q But it's all inhouse within the family of what we call the clerical culture, right?
A I would agree, yes.

Q Okay. The records reflect that in -- on 12/20/1976 --

MR. SHRINER: Are we done with this exhibit, counsel?


Q -- Archbishop Cousins requested Widera be assigned to the Diocese of Orange, and I'm going to show you an exhibit that marks that for you, Exhibit 120. I have to go back to another exhibit before I show you 120 and that's [Exhibit] 115. And 115 shows that, in fact, Widera was discharged from probation and you'll see that it states, "Now, therefore, it is ordered effective August 13, '76, the aforesaid be and hereby is discharged," so you see that date?
A Yes.

Q It was right after that -- let's see --

MR. ROTHSTEIN: While counsel is looking, I'll simply show my objection for lack of [page 152 begins] foundation. Again, this is another document before Archbishop Weakland was even in Wisconsin. It looks like about a year earlier.

Q Do you have any information, Archbishop, that the Archdiocesan officials then informed the probation office under whose supervision Widera remained until this date of the fact that Widera had reoffended?
A I see no indication of that.

Q Okay. Then going to -- I'm going to show you Exhibit 119. Before I do that, I'm going to show you [Exhibit] 117. Sorry for the confusion. And 117 is a letter from then Executive Secretary Reverend Waldbauer for the Priest Personnel Board written to Leo Graham dated October 8th, 1976, and in the middle of it, the second paragraph, second sentence, it reads, "It seems that rumors relating to an incident have forced his leaving St. Andrew Parish in Delavan under the guise of a taken vacation." These are the words of then executive secretary of the Priest Personnel Board, and this letter appeared in the Archdiocesan files. These words, "Under the guise of having taken a vacation," appears to be that there is an attempt [page 153 begins] to mislead the parishioners about the true nature of Father Widera's fitness and the circumstances of his departure; would you agree?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Again, show my objection. Lack of foundation. This is a letter previous to Archbishop Weakland.

THE WITNESS: It says that Father John Waldbauer heard those rumors, yes.

Q And so would you agree with the question that I asked that this language appears to be an attempt to mislead the parishioners about the true nature of Widera's fitness, the risks known and the circumstances of his departure?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Same objection. No foundation with this witness.

THE WITNESS: That's certainly how Father Waldbauer saw it.

Q Okay. I'm now going to show you [Exhibit] 119. This one is dated October 29th, '76, and it is from Waldbauer to Father Widera. "Dear Siegfried," and then at the second paragraph, I will read a passage and ask you a question. It states, "The Personnel Board recommends a choice. Number one, first, that you [page 154 begins] pursue significant counseling to assist you in coming in touch with yourself about the action that has brought about a hasty exit from your last two assignments." Did you know to this day that he had had a hasty exit from those last two assignments?
A I don't know where he was stationed before the case was tried in Port Washington. He must have been in one of the parishes up there, so that would have been number one and Delavan was number two.

Q Okay. It goes on to state, "Specifically the House of Affirmation was suggested at the board meeting and such information was given to you via the phone. Subsequent to such therapy, you would be considered for an appointment within the Archdiocese."
A Right.

Q Then it states, "The alternative would be for you to be released to the services of another diocese with permission of the Archbishop," so I read this to -- that the board under the authority of the archbishop has given Widera a choice, pursue significant counseling or the alternative of being released to the service of another diocese, right?
A This is how Father Waldbauer understands it, yes.

Q And it would have to be for him to be -- because [page 155 begins] he's a priest at the Archdiocese, the then archbishop has to give permission for him to work and/or be transferred to another diocese?
A Yes.

Q And in the case of Widera, he was and he went to Orange, right?
A Yes.

Q And we know that he was ultimately excardinated from Archdiocese of Milwaukee and incardinated into Orange?
A Yes.

Q And we also know that he continued to abuse?
A I don't know that but you do.

Q You don't know that?
A Well, I only know what I read in the newspaper.

[Bishop William R. Johnson of the Orange diocese in 1980.]
Q Okay. Exhibit 120 is dated December 20th, 1976, a letter from Archbishop Cousins to the then bishop of Orange, Reverend William Johnson?
A Yes.

Q And it says, "Dear Father Driscoll," although it's addressed to the Bishop Johnson. "Attention Father Michael Driscoll, a few days ago I talked by phone to Bishop Johnson about a possible pastoral assignment for Father Siegfried Widera of this Archdiocese." And then at the third paragraph [page 156 begins] down, the second sentence, it says, "In his earlier years, there was a moral problem having to do with a boy in school." When this says there is a moral problem in a communication between bishops, in your experience, Archbishop, both as abbot primate and as a priest, when bishops are talking about a moral problem in this context, that's often code for sexual abuse?
A Yes.

Q Do you have any firsthand knowledge of the actual disclosure made by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to the bishop of Orange about Widera's history that was made or not made?
A This letter I've seen before --

Q Okay.
A -- about two years ago for the first time, and it seemed clear to me that anybody receiving the letter would have wanted more information when you talk about a boy and -- moral problem of a boy in school, you would have obtained more information on it. I don't know how -- a lot of the times very little was put in print, in writing. Bishop Johnson and Archbishop Cousins would certainly have been meeting at least twice a year at bishops meetings. I can assure you that a lot of business [page 157 begins] takes place at the coffee breaks, and I can't imagine Bill Johnson not asking Cousins for a lot of detail on this case. I just can't imagine it because it's too clear here, and also that he talks about legal complications and the legal technicalities of it going to another state.
       This right away would have alerted Bishop Johnson that this case has been through a court. This is not -- it's not even code. This would have been very clear, so I can't imagine getting a letter like this from another bishop without saying okay, he has all the warning signs in there, all the code words are here, then we have to do our due diligence, and I can't imagine they wouldn't have done this. That just would have surprised me.

Q So you read this to be a clear warning from then Archbishop Cousins to Bishop Johnson in Orange?
A Yes, it's clear in the second to last paragraph, "Though I anticipate no recurrence of this past aberration, I would certainly want to be informed if the slightest suspicion were to develop. I would like to show fraternal charity to a fellow priest, but I cannot be virtuous at the expense of a fellow bishop." This is pretty clear it seems to me. [page 158 begins]

Q It is to me, too, because I've taken the depositions of a lot of archbishops and bishops and cardinals and they talk in languages that a lot of others don't and moral problems is often code for sexual abuse, right?
A That's often true.

Q The problem reoccurring is often code for sexual abuse?
A Yes, I agree.

Q The homosexual problem is often code for sexual abuse but not necessarily?
A Right. Okay.

Q What other terms are often used between bishops kind of in their nomenclature or code for sexual abuse besides those I reiterated?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Well, I'll simply show my objection to foundation. I have no problem with Archbishop Weakland and your practice or --

MR. ANDERSON: In his knowledge is all I'm asking.

THE WITNESS: Well, if I had received a letter saying an attraction towards kids, I would have already looked twice at it. I think that's probably what you do. Everybody would have done that in today's world. That's the way we are. [page 159 begins]

Q How about undue familiarity?
A That's a little harder.

Q That's a little more vague?
A That's a little harder. If it's undue familiarity but at the same time coupled with he's extremely immature, then I would have jumped at it.

Q Okay. Do you have any information that the Archdiocese provided a clear warning, such as Cousins did to Bishop Johnson, to the parishioners in Orange where Widera served and worked?
A I've never heard of any bishop ever doing such a thing.

MR. ANDERSON: Okay. We're going to take a break here. The tape is ending.

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We are off the record at 2:48 p.m. This is the end of disk number two of the deposition of Archbishop Weakland.

(Recess taken.)

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We are back on the record at 2:59 p.m. This is the beginning of disk number three of the deposition of Archbishop Weakland.

Q Archbishop, we had been discussing the letter by [page 160 begins] Cousins to Johnson, clear warning that Widera posed a risk of harm to children, correct?
A Yes.

Q You, I think, indicated earlier that you clearly learned in 1981 that Widera had a history of having molested children in the Archdiocese and had been convicted of having done so, correct?
A Right.

Q And at any time while archbishop from 1977 to 2002, did you or any official of the Archdiocese at your direction ever provide a clear warning of the known risk that Widera posed to the parishioners where he had served in the Archdiocese?
A You keep asking that question, and let me put it this way. It doesn't correspond to the kind of decision I had to make. If I had had to reveal to a pastor the entire picture, if you will, I would never have assigned him there because it would have been impossible. So this was not a choice. The choice was -- the decision was what is the risk of recidivism. That's the question we were -- that you -- I was posing to myself. As I look at it over the years, I don't think any man who has had a track record this way, like Widera being one of the worst, should be reassigned. I mean as I see it [page 161 begins] now, I would say no, that's not possible and even informing all of the people.
       What worries me now is what's happening to the men who are leaving the priesthood and being thrown out onto society, and this was Fred Berlin's concern back in 1985, who is going to track them and how is that going to work out, so I'm not sure that the question to me was well, let's inform all the people of the parish because you wouldn't assign somebody under those conditions.

Q Well, Archbishop, I think I'm hearing you say that if you would have informed the parishioners of the known risk of a priest such as Widera, you never could have assigned him to that parish because people wouldn't have it, right?
A Right. Exactly.

Q And so what the practice was was to not tell the people and assign him hoping that they would not reoffend, correct?
A Hope is too modest a word.

Q Let's say making the choice to take the risk that they won't reoffend?
A With safeguards, yes.

Q And the safeguards were monitoring and treatment, that was it? [page 162 begins]
A That was it pretty well, and the option of removing them immediately from priesthood was not on the table.

Q There was the option to restrict the faculties -- the archbishop had the option to restrict the faculties of any offender known short of removal from the clerical state, correct?
A Yes, and I did this, but I can tell you it's worse. Experience has shown that this is worse because you have somebody sitting there with nothing to do and it gets worse, not better.

Q Now --
A Those diocese -- sorry to interrupt -- but those diocese that tried to find some kind of clerical or lay work for priests of this sort soon abandoned it because you had them sitting around doing nothing. They didn't have even the safeguards that they would get normally in ministry.

Q What about reporting them to the police and letting the police deal with it and prosecuting them and allowing them to be prosecuted and turning the files that you have and the knowledge you have over to the police so they can be prosecuted and incarcerated for life, what about that, did you consider that option? [page 163 begins]
A We sure did, and if the Statutes of Limitation had not expired, then it would have been possible.

Q Isn't that for the police and prosecutor to decide and not you?
A And the police would decide it but that's also for us, I would say.

Q When in time did you as archbishop turn the file concerning Widera over to the police --
A I --

Q -- so they could make a determination --
A I never saw the file until recently.

Q Okay.
A So it's a nonquestion for me.

Q Well, I don't mean to be argumentative but it's a nonaction. This was no action taken by this Archdiocese to ever turn the Widera file over to the police, correct?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. You're asking this witness --

MR. ANDERSON: It's an awkward question. I'm not going to argue about it. I'll rephrase it.

Q It's correct, isn't it, Archbishop, that there's no evidence that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee ever turned the Widera file over to the police so that [page 164 begins] they could make the determination whether or not this guy could be prosecuted and incarcerated for crimes he committed in Wisconsin?
A Certainly the court in Ozaukee County had all that information and they did not incarcerate him, and I think I have a right to be angry about that, as you do.

Q Yeah.
A Because with -- when you look at that, that information, the number of people abused and how horribly they were abused, that the court didn't act more forcefully in that still just baffles me.

Q In the case of the archbishop, he is the one that has the power to confer the collar upon a priest, and when he confers the holy state of the priesthood, vis-a-vis ordination and an assignment to a priest, an archbishop is making a representation to the community of faith that that priest is fit, correct?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Asking for a legal conclusion. No foundation.

THE WITNESS: Well, we're dealing with human beings.


THE WITNESS: And we're -- we all have [page 165 begins] limited knowledge of each other. I can't go around this table and size up who is a risk and who isn't, and difficulty with sex abuse is that so many of these -- in fact, all of them, I think, arose when men were in their thirties, so that when you ordained them, they have good records. You wouldn't ordain them otherwise, and the issue we were dealing with then was mostly alcoholism, and certainly at that time, in fact, even you would say now, there seems to be no way of knowing a confirmed addictive sex abuser of children in the formation period.

Q Okay.
A I don't know what you do with it.

Q Archbishop, did you or anybody at your direction ever tell the parishioners in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee what the Archdiocese knew about Widera's history of molestation of youth?
A I couldn't have because I didn't know about it myself.

Q Well, did you -- did you do it in '81? You learned about it in '81.
A I learned about it in '81 with the letter that was sent to me by the chancellor and with the [page 166 begins] excardination letter, but that was not then my problem.

Q And incardination and excardination is an internal church process, it's not something that is widely disseminated to the parishioners, correct?
A I don't know. I don't know.

Q In any case, when you did learn about Widera in '81 and until 2002, you never disclosed to the parishioners in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee what you and the Archdiocese knew about Widera's history of molestation, correct?
A I would have had very little to reveal because it just wasn't on my radar screen. I had never seen the man. He didn't appear on our list, so I never met him.

Q I need you to answer this question, Archbishop. It's correct to say that at no time you or anybody at your direction ever disclosed to the parishioners or the Archdiocese that the history known to you and the Archdiocese concerning Father Widera?
A I did not because it was a public case with pictures in the paper because it was well known.

Q You say it was a public case that was in '73?
A Yes. [page 167 begins]

Q And that was in the newspaper in Milwaukee?
A It certainly was in the newspapers in Ozaukee County. I don't know about Milwaukee.

Q And right after he was convicted, he was moved to Delavan, St. Andrew's of Delavan, which is way on the outskirts of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, isn't it, right in the hinterlands of the Archdiocese, so to speak?
A Don't tell them that.

Q I won't.
A It's not. It's a resort town and no, it's not considered hinterland.

Q How far is it from Milwaukee?
A An hour's drive.

Q There are 10 counties in Milwaukee, and that's one of the outlying counties of the Archdiocese, correct?
A (Witness motions.) Sorry.

[Rev. Franklyn W. Becker]
Q I'm going to ask you some questions about Franklyn Becker, Archbishop. When did you first learn that he was a child molester?
A As far as I know, the first victim that came forward for Franklyn Becker was in the '90s sometime.

Q When did you first have any suspicions or receive [page 168 begins] any information from any source, that is report, complaint or rumor that Franklyn Becker was a child molester?
A Probably sometime in the late '80s. I can't say a child molester, but it was -- he was very indiscreet with younger kids.

Q Teenagers?
A Well, teenagers, yes, but also seventh, eighth graders. There was a case where -- it's in the files I'm sure -- brought to our attention that --

Q Well, for our purposes, we'll agree, can we not, that teenagers are children or do you want to draw a distinction between children and teenagers?
A I think you can draw a distinction but not legally, so it's pointless legally.

Q Let's just use the word minors. How does that one work?
A That's best.

Q That's best. Okay. So you did have suspicions that he had abused minors sometime in the '80s. Do you know when?
A I don't have the file, but I do remember an admiration on the part of everybody that he went on some kind of a cruise with an eighth grade boy, and yet when we quizzed the boy and the parents quizzed [page 169 begins] the boy and so on, they said there was no abuse, so what can you do.

Q When you say, "We quizzed," who is the we?
A Vicar of clergy.

Q And that was then whom?
A I can't tell you at that point.

Q Okay. And was Bishop Sklba the guy designated by you to deal more often than not with problems of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese?
A Bishop Sklba and Bishop Brust were the vicars of clergy for six years, I think it was, after Father Janicki, and I thought at the time it would be good to have auxiliary bishops because they had a little bit more clout than the other vicar would have in dealing with such delicate things.

Q I'm going to show you Exhibit 301, but before I do, I think I need to get a little more information about this information you received in '80. The vicar for clergy was then involved. It sounds like you and/or the vicar for clergy interviewed the boy or the mother?
A I don't know who did but somebody did because they both -- the report that reached me was that no abuse had taken place.

Q Who reported that to you, that no abuse had taken [page 170 begins] place?
A I can't tell you. I can't tell you.

MR. SHRINER: The report was that the mother had said no abuse?

THE WITNESS: The mother had said no abuse had taken place.

Q And did you report that to the police?
A No.

Q Why not?
A I -- without evidence, you don't report.

Q Isn't that the job of the police, to discern if there's evidence of a crime, not the job of the archbishop?
A Well, you can't have it both ways.

Q Why not?
A Well, if you're going to make me responsible, make me responsible. That's -- I don't quite --

Q But, Archbishop, you don't have any power to put Franklyn Becker behind bars and incarcerate him for criminal sexual conduct, do you?
A No. I wish I had but I don't.

Q And the one that do is the police and prosecutors, right?
A Yes. [page 171 begins]

Q And so you can't have it both ways. You can find out if your priest committed the abuse and you can turn it over to the police, right?
A Yes, you could.

Q And you can deal with the priest canonically with your power and you can turn it over to the police to deal with the offender with their powers, correct?
A It was a possibility, but I don't know that it would have been any more effective than with Widera or any of the other cases, so I was not that -- if it was within the Statute of Limitation, it was a clear cut case, fine, but I don't think suspicions I would have reported.

Q As the archbishop, you were in charge of education in the Archdiocese, weren't you?
A Yes.

Q When in time did you believe that you became a reporter mandated under law?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Now asking for a legal conclusion about Wisconsin Statutes. No showing that the archbishop is a legal expert.

THE WITNESS: I'm not sure when all that happened. I can't tell you, counsel.

BY MR. ANDERSON: [page 172 begins]
Q At some point in time did you -- were you -- did you come to believe that you were a mandated reporter because you oversaw education in the Archdiocese?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Same objection.

THE WITNESS: Not because I oversaw education in the Archdiocese. I don't connect those two. This is a new way of formulating it.

Q What -- how did you learn you were a mandated reporter?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Same objection. Calls for a legal conclusion and assumes a fact.

THE WITNESS: I'm sure it was the Archdiocesan lawyer at the time who talked about the legislation before the state and then would have talked to me about this.

Q And when did you believe that you became a mandated reporter in any capacity as a priest?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Assumes the same facts not established. No foundation.

THE WITNESS: Well, I couldn't make a distinction between me as bishop and priest in that regard. [page 173 begins]

Q Okay.
A And I can't tell you when that happened. You would have to look at the state legislature and what was there and how that was then interpreted for us by counsel.

Q In the '80s when you received the report regarding Franklyn Becker and interviewed the mother, where your report says he wasn't abused, did you consider yourself to have been a mandated reporter then?
A No.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Same objection.

Q Okay. It was sometime after that?
A Yes.

Q How long do you think?
A It could be as high as 10 years.

Q Okay.
A At least five years.

Q I'm going to show you Exhibit 70, Archbishop. Excuse me. It's [Exhibit] 301, and it's the year 1970 and it's fall 1970. It's a memo from Father Robert Sampon. Father Sampon would have been an official of the Diocese and, I think, in 1970 he would have been the chancellor? [page 174 begins]
A Yes.

Q This states, "Blank came to chancery to tell of problem re her son Blank and Father Franklyn Becker." Do you know what problem it is she is reporting to then Chancellor Sampon?
A I don't remember ever seeing this before, and I have no idea. I would have to guess.

Q Have you ever heard, before I showed you this today and read this to you, that a report was made to the Archdiocese vis-a-vis the chancellor in 1970?
A This is the first time I hear of that.

Q Okay. It goes on to state, "No follow through at the time." And since you don't know anything about this, you don't know what this refers to, correct?
A Right.

Q Okay. It goes on to state, "This note filed 6/23/76." That would be six years after the date of the note. Do you see that? Do you have any information as to if that's the case why it took six years for this to be filed in the files of the Archdiocese?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Objection from me, simply no foundation. This again precedes Archbishop Weakland.

MR. ANDERSON: I understand, but I'm just [page 175 begins] asking if you know.
THE WITNESS: I have no idea what that might mean.

Q Okay. The reading of this note in itself is suspicious of sexual abuse; is it not?
A Probably for somebody around the year 1970, it would not have been taken as such. It would be today I'm sure.

Q In any case, this is the kind of thing an archbishop, if a report is made concerning one of the priests of the Archdiocese, would want to know so it could be investigated under Canon Law?
A Yes.

Q And the archbishop has an obligation to investigate reports of misconduct by a priest under Canon Law, correct?
A It depends on the evidence and who brings it, yes.

Q The record of Father Becker reflect various assignments that I'm not going to walk you through because I want to use our time together as it's been allocated and try to get through this. I'm going to skip a number of things, but there is some information both from Father Becker and in the files that indicate that in the late '70s Becker [page 176 begins] had some information with NAMBLA, N-A-M-B-L-A, that's a North American Boy Love Association.


MR. ANDERSON: What is it?
MR. SHRINER: You left out Man.

MR. ANDERSON: Oh, I left out --
MR. SHRINER: Isn't that what it is?

MR. ANDERSON: It's North American Man/Boy Love Association?
MR. SHRINER: Right, I think so.

Q And so have you heard of or do you have any information about what, if any, association he had with NAMBLA?
A No.

Q I'm going to show you Exhibit 303, and this one would be on Saint Brigid's Church stationery. It is dated February 16th, 1978. This is a letter, two-page, addressed from Father Becker to you, Archbishop, correct?
A Yes.

Q And do you have -- have you reviewed this in preparation for this deposition?
A I don't recall this letter.

Q Okay. So that was my next question. Do you recall [page 177 begins] receiving this letter at the moment?
A I don't.

Q Okay. Maybe as we go through it, you will, and if you do, we can --

MR. SHRINER: Would you like him to read it through?



Q The letter indicates that Becker at this time was out in California and working out there and he's seeking permission to stay there. Do you remember receiving information from Becker by this letter or otherwise that I'm in California, I want to stay here, please give me permission to do so?
A I don't remember that at all.

[Bishop Leo T. Maher of San Diego in 1980.]
Q Okay. I'm going to refer you to Exhibit 304. This one is dated January 30th, 1979, and this would be about a year later, and this is from you to the Most Reverend Leo T. Maher -- is that Maher or Maher?
A Maher he called it.

Q Maher in San Diego?
A Yes, he was.

Q And it states, "Dear Bishop Maher, recently it was [page 178 begins] brought to my attention that Father Franklyn Becker will be returning to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. I thought it would be helpful to write to you a personal and confidential letter to see if there is anything that you feel I should know as he returns here to this Diocese." So you're writing a personal and confidential letter asking him if there's anything you should know. This is kind of -- I don't mean to be sinister but code kind of, communication between bishops, saying look, is there a problem here that you've got to talk to me about?
A Yes.

Q And did he?
A I never remember -- I don't remember ever talking to Leo Maher about Becker.

Q You did have enough concerns about Becker's history to put this in here, so this is significant; is it not?
A Yes, it is. I did have concerns.

Q It's not the ordinary language you'd use if there was an ordinary reassignment, this signals that there's a history here that you really need to ask questions about?
A Correct. [page 179 begins]

Q It goes on to state, "I would be" -- excuse me. It goes on to state, "It would be helpful if I could get some idea of his conduct while he was with you and if there is some reason why he is now returning to Milwaukee." Again, this is more language from you to him saying look, did he abuse kids?
A No. That wasn't necessarily on the agenda. Could have been anything, and as I recall from -- somebody must have told me this, perhaps it was the vicar, he was suing the pastor of his parish out there, and I wanted some information what in the hell is going on here. That's about kind of what it was.

Q Weren't you suspicious about his history with kids at this point?
A No, I never met him.

Q Okay.
A I never met him.

Q And you had no knowledge of the 1970 letter that appeared in the file when you wrote this?
A None at all.

Q Did you get guidance or input from any other officials who had preceded your installation as Archdiocese about Franklyn Becker?
A No, I didn't. [page 180 begins]

Q Okay.
A But if you looked at a case where he had been in West Virginia in a university as chaplain, he had been out in California. These rapid changes, naturally I wanted to know what's going on.

Q Becker has a lot of different changes in assignments when I look at his assignment history and he's assigned out of state. Isn't that in and of itself a little unusual?
A It would be unusual now. In '79 it wasn't as unusual for a priest to seek assignments in other states, and bishops were pretty agreeable. There were Catholic periodicals that would list openings, especially chaplaincies at universities, hospital chaplains, things of this sort, and that would attract many priests to go outside their own diocese.

Q I'm going to show you Exhibit 305. This is a response from Bishop Maher to you dated February 5th, 1979, responsive obviously to the earlier exhibit. "Dear Archbishop Weakland," the last sentence in it states, "No doubt there are psychological problems in Father Franklyn Becker's life that he must solve." Now, that's a signal to you of something; is it not? [page 181 begins]
A It's a signal that there's a problem.

Q Okay.
A It's not very explicit.

Q I agree.
A That could be anything.

Q But bishops communicating to one another, it does take on different meanings for bishops and archbishops when you're talking about your priests, and I think as you've indicated, Archbishop, my question to you is did you ever inquire into what psychological problems Bishop Maher was referring to here?
A I cannot answer whether I ever talked to Leo Maher about this or not.

MR. SHRINER: Perhaps you should read the whole letter.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: The middle paragraph may give an indication here.

THE WITNESS: The conflict in the rectory --

Q My question is do you remember inquiring as to what the problems were?
A I do recall talking to my -- the vicar and people of this sort, and the problem seemed to be, as I [page 182 begins] had it then, that he never had enough money. He was always seeking more money. He was very money conscious and complaints that he wasn't doing his work and earning the money he did have, so that was the major problem that I would have known about at that time.

Q Archbishop, you in your studies and work came to understand some things about paraphilias, in particular ephebophilia and pedophilia, did you not?
A Yes.

Q When in time did you first learn that Becker was an ephebophile or pedophile, depending on who is describing and diagnosing?
A Somewhere along the line in his file there should be a document from the institute where we sent him where a Dr. Gillette sent back a report saying that he was attracted to children. Yes, that would have been the first clear response that I would have had. I'm not sure of the date of that.

Q Okay. We'll get that date because I have that document. I'll show it to you. That's the first clear response. My question to you is before that time where he's identified as an ephebophile or pedophile, or as you say a clear response, what [page 183 begins] indications were there before that point in time that were suspicious that Becker was an ephebophile or a pedophile or had a compulsive sexual interest in youth?
A The only sign I would have had was from the first parish he was in when he came back and I remember after some time in that parish, which was St. Margaret Mary, the pastor, who by the way was Father Sampon at that point, so I had moved him from the chancery to that parish and the Personnel Board assigned Becker to that parish, which in a way was very wise because Father Sampon probably knew more about Father Becker than I would have known about him because I had never met him before, but so the question is when was this first discovered? I think there was some suspicion at St. Margaret Mary because the -- his hanging around the younger people but no evidence that would have -- that you could have brought against him.

Q And he was at St. Margaret Mary in '78ish, '79ish?
A That's when he came back, that would have been correct.

Q Did you ask Becker about your suspicions at that time?
A It was not customary to ask questions like that of [page 184 begins] people and, in fact, there is a -- in the code, there was a Canon which stated that a superior could not ask of a priest a manifestation of conscious [sic in the transcript; Weakland said “manifestation of conscience”; silently corrected in the rest of the transcript], so that would have been considered one of those questions that you didn't have really a right out of nowhere to ask somebody. Now, the Jesuits are a little different. I think they have that written in their rule. We're benedictines. I couldn't as an abbot have asked one of the monks a question like that.

Q Is the doctrine of manifestation of conscience in your view an admonition against asking somebody like Becker did you abuse kids?
A Yes, it would be. He would not have to have answered that in the affirmative to his bishop.

Q Would it be some kind of violation of norms, protocols or law for you as the archbishop to ask your priest that question?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Object. Question vague.

MR. ANDERSON: You can answer.
THE WITNESS: As far as I know, it would have been contrary to what a bishop has the right to ask of a priest.

Q Well, a bishop is the one responsible for the [page 185 begins] ordination, the placement, the transfer, the assignment of all priests of the Archdiocese, correct?
A Yes.

Q When you refer to the doctrine of the manifestation of conscience, does that act as some prohibition imposed upon the Archdiocese to say to Becker did you abuse kids?
A I would say that that -- he could have very rightly have said that's none of your business. I think that would have been a part of his right in doing that. That's my judgment. I might be wrong, but that was how I would have interpreted a manifestation of conscience.

Q My question to you, Archbishop, is did you ever ask Franklyn Becker the question, "Did you abuse kids while you were my priest?"
A I never asked him that question as you worded it, no.

Q And why not? You had suspicions.
A Yes, but it's like asking all kinds of questions of people, do you have a right to ask them or don't you. I didn't think I had the right to pose a question that way.

Q Well, as bishop, as ordinary archbishop, excuse me, [page 186 begins] you're the shepherd of the flock and that is the flock is the shepherd of the priest and the entire community of faith, right?
A Yes, but it would be like in your -- let's say in a law firm, what questions can you ask somebody of a lawyer or a person coming into the firm, what are you -- what are the parameters that you can say there, and I think here, too, the priests have their rights as well, and to ask them to reveal that way any kind of past transgressions is not really your right to do that, and I don't remember ever asking any priest that question because I wouldn't have asked them how many times have you fornicated or whatever. I just don't think that would have been a right on my part.

Q Who led you to believe that it would have been a violation of the priest's right for you as the priest ordinary to ask them the question, "Have you abused children as a priest?"
A I think that would have been my interpretation at least of the way in which the code is set up.

Q So it's fair to say then based on that, Archbishop, that you never really asked any of these priests who were suspected of sexual abuse if they, in fact, had abused kids? [page 187 begins]
A I would only ask on particular cases that came in. I would ask did you do this or didn't you, if an accusation came in, but I wouldn't ask them at random, every priest, to tell me what they have done wrong. It just wouldn't have happened.

Q Well, then when you had the suspicions regarding Becker the first time, why didn't you ask him then?
A I took the route of saying we've got to monitor this guy.

Q So you made a choice at that time and the choice was to take a risk; is that right?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Object as false dilemma.

THE WITNESS: I think the choice was also his rights, which if you know a history of the Church of the United States in particular, the rights of priests are very serious business.

Q Okay. I'm showing you now Exhibit 306. This is three pages from Franklyn Becker addressed to you. The date of it is February 11th, 1980. "Your Excellency," it states, "I am writing to you on the advice of Father Joseph Hornacek regarding the matter I presented to him last Monday and which has been brought to your attention." Do you remember [page 188 begins] this letter?
A Vaguely.

Q Okay. It goes on to state, "I sincerely regret having to write this letter which is in the nature of an apology for my actions, which are an embarrassment not only to me but to the priesthood in general." Do you recall, Archbishop, that the actions for which he is apologizing and that which are an embarrassment to him and the Archdiocese was that he was inappropriate with a minor?
A I don't remember that.

MR. SHRINER: By the way, let the archbishop read the letter. I think it would be fair, Mr. Anderson.

MR. ANDERSON: Counsel, look, if we do that, I'm not going to get done by 4:30. It's your choice. I'm not going to -- I can't -- I have too many documents to do that. I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm trying to be helpful. Your choice. If we do that, we work late. If we go my way, we might get done by 4:30.

MR. SHRINER: Well, it's your choice. It's only making a suggestion. It's a 28-year-old letter. He said he doesn't remember it, but I don't want later on somebody to suggest that if he [page 189 begins] had read the letter, he could have seen what you were talking about.

MR. ANDERSON: I'll cover some portions then. I want to be fair, but I also want to get done and work within some limits that you are asking me to, and I can't give any guarantees.


Q But the next sentence says, "You have been most kind to me since my return to the Archdiocese in Milwaukee and I'm most grateful for your compassion and benevolence." Do you remember why he felt so grateful to you?
A No, I don't.

Q Going down this paragraph, in the middle of the paragraph, two-thirds of that paragraph down, there's a sentence that begins with, "My orientation." Do you see that, "With my orientation, the frequent presence"?
A Yes.

Q I'm going to read that and then ask you a question. He states, "With my orientation" -- first, when he says with my orientation to you, do you know what he means by orientation?
A I would presuppose that meant an attraction toward [page 190 begins] teenage boys.

Q Okay. So when he goes -- I'll read this. When he states, "With my orientation, the frequent presence of teenage boys in the house at night was tantalizing, to say the least. It was during that time that I met the boy with whom I became involved." So he is admitting to you here that he has an orientation toward teenage boys and he became involved with a boy, correct?
A Yes.

Q And he's apologizing for that above, correct?
A Yes.

Q The next paragraph begins with, "I have been in communication with the mother of the boy involved and she is sympathetic and does not intend to press any charges." Do you remember this?
A Strangely enough I don't and I don't know why.

Q Was this information, his apology and admission to you that he had become involved with this boy as he writes, ever made known to the police by you or any of your officials?
A Not to my knowledge.

Q The first sentence of the next paragraph says, "I am grateful for the opportunity to meet with Dr. Dale Olen," O-L-E-N. Is he another therapist [page 191 begins] that you sent suspected offenders to?
A He did mostly group counseling, group sessions, but he did have some private practice as well.

Q And did you send Becker to him because of his orientation towards teenagers?
A I don't recall that.

Q Do you recall doing any investigation or follow-up responsive to Becker's admission that he had done what he describes here and that he is now apologizing for it to you?
A I'm not sure when we sent him away for the evaluation, so I can't tell you if there was any follow-up on this particular case.

Q Now, here you have a suspicion and not only a suspicion, you have an admission by him, so this would have been an opportunity for you, had you taken it, then to ask Becker okay, you did this kid, what about the others, have there been others?
A That would have been occasion, you're right.

Q And the manifestation of conscience did not prevent you from asking this question of Becker in 1980, correct?
A That's true. That's true.

Q But you didn't?
A But I didn't. [page 192 begins]

Q And he continued ministry?
A He was taken out of Margaret Mary.

Q But he was continued in ministry?
A Not for awhile. There was a period there where we had him sitting on a shelf, which was not good at all.

Q And then he was returned after that hiatus, correct?
A Yes. When I look at this now, it's easy in hindsight. I regret that I didn't take that to the police. That would have solved many problems.

Q Thank you.
A Not because that would have put him behind bars but we could have dealt with the victims, which I think would have been paramount at that point.

Q Well, we don't know. Maybe he could have been put behind bars, and I guess we just can't know that now.
A Yeah, we can't know that.

Q But if you never give the police the chance, it can't happen, right?
A True.

Q I'm going to show you Exhibit 307, and this is a document, Archbishop, two pages, dated February 22, 1980, and we don't know who sent it, but it is [page 193 begins] addressed to the then Raymond Vint, pastor at St. Margaret Mary Parish.
A Okay.

MR. SHRINER: Not Sampon.

THE WITNESS: Not Sampon, yep. Sampon must have followed Vint.

Q And it says, "Dear Father Vint," and this came from the Archdiocese files again, and I want to direct your attention to the first paragraph. This is referring to the first sentence, "It has come to our attention during the past few weeks that Father Becker has been involved in an incident which could cause consternation in our parish." The last sentence states in that paragraph, "The incident which occurred in December is an isolated one, an incident which perhaps was not so much an inappropriate act but a concern for a teenage boy who might be struggling with his own identity." What do you remember about this incident, if anything, Archbishop?
A I don't remember, counsel, ever seeing this letter before.

Q Okay.
A It was written to the pastor and a copy was sent to [page 194 begins] me, but I don't remember ever reading it.

Q All right. Last paragraph of the first page I'll read. "When a member of a family is in error, it is a sad and unfortunate turn when that member is rejected and turned away from the family unit. Surely the family name is tarnished. There is a certain amount of embarrassment, but the family that stands behind such a person and works through the problem is to be admired and commended. If the priests in this parish were to stand together in support, it is our guess that the rumors will slowly dwindle and the incident forgotten." I guess you hadn't read this letter before, so it's not really fair to ask you what you think this writer is saying, but --

MR. SHRINER: Don't stop now, Jeff.

MR. ANDERSON: Don't start now. Yeah, I don't think -- I don't think I'm going to.

Q I'm going to go to Exhibit 308 here, Archbishop, and this is a shorter letter. This is two months later, April 11th, 1980, this is a letter to Franklyn Becker from you. "Dear Franklyn, I am sorry that I did not at least drop you a little note in response to your letter of February 11th to let you know [page 195 begins] that I had received it and was indeed concerned." What was your concern?
A Yeah, that could be interpreted as many things to be concerned about. Concerned about --

Q Was it response to the February 11th, 1980, letter from Becker to you apologizing about the orientation toward the teenage boy?
A Yes, I'm sure that was it.

Q And what, if anything, did you do responsive to your concern about his admission, his apology and his admitting the orientation and the conduct towards the teenage boy?
A I shuddered because I knew we had a problem on our hands but couldn't get a grip of it totally. I didn't trust anything Becker said or wrote, as I think you can see. I didn't want to say anything in my response that could be misinterpreted by Becker, so I was working with Father Hornacek at that time, as you can see, as a vicar to try to get some way of proceeding with regard to Becker.

Q Well, you knew he wasn't safe to teenagers and you knew he wasn't celibate, right?
A I guessed that, yes.

Q Well, you knew that?
A I didn't know it. I wouldn't have known it until [page 196 begins] some victim came forward because with Becker, anything could go. Becker was probably the most manipulative priest at the time, and I don't think anybody trusted anything he said or wrote.

Q It was your obligation as archbishop and ordinary to make sure that the priests were safe and abiding by their promise of celibacy?
A Insofar as it's humanly possible to know about it, yes.

Q It's also your obligation that if a priest commits a crime under the Canon Law, a delict, to investigate and take canonical action, correct?
A Yes, but you needed pretty absolute information and witnesses to do that.

Q Becker's admission to you that he had abused a teenage kid and acted inappropriately towards a minor as a priest is documented admission by him. What more evidence did you need to take action, Archbishop?
A I could have started action at that time. I could have begun some kind of canonical procedure against him. I don't know if I would have been successful, this is 1980, whether or not that would have worked. I had never heard at -- up to that period of anybody taking canonical action against a priest [page 197 begins] and being successful at it.

Q I guess you don't know if you don't try, though, so you didn't try in any case, correct?
A I tried later but not in this case.

Q Okay. I'm showing you now Exhibit 309. This is June 23rd, 1980. This is a letter from then Chancellor Sampon to Franklyn Becker. It's CC'd to Hornacek and the Priest Personnel Board. "Dear Father Becker, following the recommendation of the Reverend Joseph Janicki, vicar for priest personnel, the most Reverend Rembert Weakland, O.S.B., herewith appoints you temporary administrator of St. Joseph's Parish, Lyons, with the Mission of St. Kilian, Lyons Township, until a new pastor is appointed." It then goes on to state, "As temporary administrator." It is correct to say that what you did was temporarily place him in a parish to serve in the full care of the souls of that parish?
A Yes, a parish without a school. [According to the 1980 Official Catholic Directory, St. Joseph's in Lyons did have a school. Two Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis of Assisi worked there, and in the 1979-80 school year, 47 pupils attended. In the 1980-81 school year, 53 pupils attended. Becker was administrator of the parish in July and August 1980.]

Q He still was permitted by reason of the faculties conferred him by you at that parish access to youth without restrictions, correct?
A I'm not sure about that in terms of what was said to him privately about -- before accepting this, so [page 198 begins] certainly in the document itself, there are no restrictions listed.

Q And there's no documentation that I've seen that there were restrictions imposed by you upon him. Are you aware of having imposed any restrictions on his faculties to minister to the full care of the souls in this parish and others?
A If there's no document there, it means if there was any, it was oral, verbal.

Q Who did you tell at the parish where you assigned him in 1980 that you had already known and learned that Becker was a child molester or a molester of minors?
A I can't recall that I ever told anybody in the parish this, and in 1980 I don't think it would have been done. Hindsight is easy, knowing how he turned out, but at that time I can't recall that there would have been any.

Q And it's fair to say that you didn't make that warning and/or disclosure to the parishioners because of a variety of things. One of those I heard you say is that you treated priests like family members, right?
A That's true.

Q Another thing is the way the Canons, the Canon Law, [page 199 begins] operated, it made it difficult for you to take action against the priests?
A At least to remove them from priesthood, yes.

Q It didn't impede your ability to assign him to a parish, however, correct?
A No.

Q Beyond that whole family dynamic that you described, treating Becker as a family member, a member of your family not just of faith but like blood, what other explanation do you have for not having told the people at the parish that this guy is a molester?
A I think I can say honestly that if that's -- that was the criterion that had to be used, then there would have been no one assigned at that point because no parish would have accepted a priest, unless you could say that he has gone through the kind of psychological examination and that he's not a risk to the parish, which would have been what was happening here.

Q Okay.
A Otherwise, I don't think you could have. And there still was -- as you noticed in the letters of Archbishop Cousins, there still was the idea that a person, any person, had to be able to control those [page 200 begins] instincts that they had, that this is possible, and we operated under that assumption that people are responsible for their actions and, therefore, could control that kind of an attraction.

Q In any case, you didn't send a clear warning to the parishioners of what you knew, correct?
A No, and I would not have done that then, that's true.
Q And did you represent to the parishioners then by reason of any assignment of this priest, as well as any others, that when you assign a priest to a parish, you are representing to the parishioners and that community of faith that that priest is fit to wear the collar and administer to the care of their souls, correct?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. You're now asking the archbishop to interpret the mind of third-party parishioners at this time. No foundation.

THE WITNESS: I think --

MR. ANDERSON: You can answer.

THE WITNESS: I think it's true when you assign someone, you feel that they have the capabilities of ministering and that the risks are minimal, if in existence at all, so I think that's [page 201 begins] true.

Q So you represent to them that he's a priest in good standing, correct?
A Right.

Q That he's fit to serve and minister the sacrament?
A Yes.

Q That he's worthy of trust?
A I'm not saying that worthy of trust is -- what does that mean.

Q Okay. That he's safe?

A Is anybody safe? It's -- I would say yes, you feel that the danger is minimal.

Q That he is celibate?
A I wouldn't want to have to vouch for that for every priest out of 500.

Q Well, if the Archbishop of the Priests can't, who can?
A Nobody.

Q Is that -- is that part of the -- is the requirement of celibacy in the Archdiocese part of the reason there's such a problem with the priests in the Archdiocese?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Now we're asking, I think, First Amendment issues which have [page 202 begins] nothing to do with this case. I object.

MR. ANDERSON: You can answer.

THE WITNESS: Celibacy is not the cause.

MR. ANDERSON: No, I wouldn't suggest that.

Q But does the suppression of -- the suppression of sexuality, vis-a-vis the requirement of celibacy, contribute to sexual abuse by priests?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Show my objection. Now calling for an expert opinion as a psychologist beside the First Amendment issue.

MR. ANDERSON: You can answer.

THE WITNESS: All I can say is that this is hotly debated, and I don't think that one could say a final answer has come about. You would have to do a lot of extensive studies comparing the Catholic clergy with, let's say, the Lutheran or some other group which is not celibate and see the number of instances, et cetera, but I don't know of anybody who has done a thorough study of the relationship between the celibacy and the sexual abuse in question. I think there are other causes that are more clear.

BY MR. ANDERSON: [page 203 begins]
Q Fair enough. At any case, when you assigned Becker to the parish as administrator with the history that you knew, at least you represented to the community of faith and the parishioners this guy is not a molester?
A I don't think it would have been on the radar screen, no.

Q Fair enough. Do you want to take a break?
A I'm fine.

MR. SHRINER: Jeff, if you want to take a break, my only concern is obviously as we get along toward the end of the afternoon, it's more difficult for anybody and Archbishop Weakland, I think, to stay alert and so on.

MR. ANDERSON: I understand.

MR. SHRINER: If we're going to get done this afternoon and you want to take a break and we'll be out of here by five, that's fine. Otherwise, I'd rather stop at 4:30 and come back tomorrow morning, as I said to Mike we would. I mean that's your call.

MR. ANDERSON: Okay. Let's press forward and work together. If you feel overly fatigued or pressed, feel free to take a break, and let's see if we can get her done. [page 204 begins]

THE WITNESS: All right.

MR. SHRINER: We don't ask anybody else what they want.

MR. ANDERSON: We'll just consider this our parade.

Q I'm showing you, Archbishop, what we marked Exhibit 300, and this is a somewhat lengthy document, but it is a log that has been represented to be a part of the Archdiocese file, and this one pertains to Becker, and why don't you tell me, if you can, what it is?
A I had appointed a vicar for clergy, and every two weeks or so he would send out these little blurbs of this log indicating that he had dealt with something as an alert to me and to others what was happening, so this was the vicar's log.

Q And --
A They are not complete and they are just indications of some things there.

Q Okay. And who was the vicar then in 1980?
A It would have been Joe Janicki.

Q And this log goes from 1980 to 2003, so it could have been prepared by more than one vicar then?
A Certainly. [page 205 begins]

Q Okay. And I'm going to show you the first page of it, and you'll see there's Bates stamps, and this page is Bates stamped 862 on the first page. Do you see that number?

MR. SHRINER: On the lower right-hand corner, Archbishop.

THE WITNESS: Yes, I see that.

Q And then under the last paragraph, in the middle of it there's an entry, I want to read it and then ask you a question. It states, "He must not talk openly about the gay movement in a militant way. He assured me absolutely that he would cause no more problems along this line in the future if he got a position." Do you know -- do you remember what this is about?
A It may refer to something you brought up earlier about the male/boy thing, but I doubt that. I really don't -- he may have been talking, I don't know, about gay lifestyles or something. I don't know what he was talking about.

Q I'm going to refer you to the next page and under 944, which is the fourth paragraph down in the middle of that paragraph, the paragraph begins with, "Father Stoll informed me that he would [page 206 begins] prefer not to have Franklyn Becker as an associate," and then in the middle it says, "Stoll is afraid that if Becker's problems" -- excuse me -- I have to reread that. It states, "Stoll is afraid that if Becker's problem manifests itself in the small community, the damage will be irreparable." This is referring to sexual abuse, isn't it?
A I don't know. I -- that would be the first inclination you might have, but it also could be he is talking too much about gay sex or something else. You never know with Becker.

Q But homosexuality would not cause irreparable harm to the community.
A In 1980?

Q What do you think?
A I think it could be a number of things.

Q Okay.
A Your first thing would be it could be with --

Q Is Father Stoll still alive?
A No, he's been dead many years.

Q I'm going to refer to you the next page, Archbishop. At the top, number 32, to the right, "Franklyn Becker," it says, "Yesterday Heffron," who is Father -- who is Heffron? [page 207 begins]
A Father Bill Heffron.

Q Is he alive?
A No, he's dead.

Q It states, "Yesterday Heffron contacted me with the information that the mother of one of the seventh grade boys told him that Becker was associating rather intimately with their son. The son claimed that he held his hand in the movie and touched him rather improperly in a swimming session." Now, that's suspicious of sexual abuse, right?
A It is.

Q Okay. Down in that same paragraph, third sentence from the end of it, it states, "After the parents left, I asked Becker to get in touch with Dale Olen." So Olen is being -- Becker is being referred to Olen for --
A Yes.

Q Did Olen see any other offenders that you recall?
A Not to my knowledge.

Q Okay. On the same page at 892, in the middle of it, I'll read and then ask you a question. Third sentence, it states, "Olen told me of a couple of instances recently when Becker was able to control himself." That's not funny. I'm sorry I laughed.
A I agree. I agree. Sad. [page 208 begins]

Q I'm going to read that again. "Olen told me of a couple of instances recently when Becker was able to control himself. He continues to see Olen and I reminded him of the celibacy statement we are looking for." What can you tell me about this entry, if anything?
A Occasionally with something of this sort, we would ask someone to sign a statement that he accepts celibacy, and we would have asked that of him. That seems to be what this is about. It may also be that Dale Olen was a part of that discussion.

Q But this is more about child abuse than celibacy, isn't it?
A It would be under the same category, that's all.

Q I mean it's in the same year that the information at the top of the page where he's touching the teenage boy inappropriately, so --
A Yeah, it's not specific here, you're right.

Q Yeah, I mean that's why he's seeing Olen, because of abuse, right?
A Exactly.

Q The next page at the top -- I'm going to take you away from this exhibit for a moment because I have something else I need to ask you about. I'm going to show you what I've marked as Exhibit 400, and [page 209 begins] you can keep that exhibit because I'm going to keep him referring back to it.

MR. SHRINER: While you're asking him about 400?

MR. ANDERSON: Yes. I just want to direct your attention to 400 at the moment.

MR. SHRINER: He's trying to get you to multitask after you told him you don't do that anymore.

Q There was an article or a series that appeared in the Milwaukee Journal that was a six part series.

MR. SHRINER: It looks like the Sentinel.

MR. ANDERSON: Excuse me. The Milwaukee Sentinel.


Q It appears in 1981, June of '81. And Exhibit 400 would be the first in the series. It's called, "Churches Face Major Issues in the '80s." Do you see that?
A Yes, I do.

Q Okay. You and other officials of the Archdiocese knew this story was going to run before it ran, correct? [page 210 begins]
A I remember a meeting in which the reporters came to see me to talk about it, and so I knew at that time it was going to run, yes.

Q Did you and other officials of the Archdiocese make an effort to have them not run this story?
A Have you ever tried to get a newspaper not to run a story?

Q Well, the question is did you try?

MR. SHRINER: Mr. Anderson's problem is the opposite.


THE WITNESS: I think --

MR. ANDERSON: He's over here taking shots.

MR. MUTH: Tom said it. I was thinking it.

THE WITNESS: I don't think the Diocese made any effort, but I do think that a couple politicos in the town heard about this, as you can imagine the number of people involved, and their only concern was that the original plan was to do the Catholic church, and the politico said if you do the Catholic church, you've got to include all religions in the city. That was the only time I can recall that there was any intervention in the [page 211 begins] story as it moved ahead, and I do remember the reporters coming to see me about the story.

Q Was there a meeting with you and the other bishops at the Diocese about this and how to deal with it? Excuse me. I meant other bishops in Wisconsin.
A No, not to my knowledge.

Q Was there a meeting with you and other officials of the Archdiocese about this and how to deal with it?
A I'm sure we talked about it, yes.

Q Before it ran, while it ran or after?
A Probably all three.

Q And who was a part of your consulters in those meetings?
A Certainly Bishop Sklba and Bishop Brust and I don't know who else would have been a part of it.

Q Directing your attention to 400, Archbishop, at the third page of the article --

MR. SHRINER: Page three, in the upper corner, the one that has three up here in the upper left-hand corner.

MR. ANDERSON: I'm sorry. That's the fourth page.

MR. SHRINER: Okay. The next one, I think. [page 212 begins]

Q In one-third of the column down on the left-hand side, there's several bullet points, but there's one that I want to draw your attention to, and it starts with, "A Catholic priest in Wisconsin." Do you see that one?

MR. SHRINER: There are a couple of them that say the same thing.

MR. ANDERSON: I'll read it.

Q It says, "A Catholic priest in Wisconsin who says he likes to fondle men." Do you see that one?
A Yes.

Q Okay. Follow along. I'm going to read it. It says, "A Catholic priest in Wisconsin who says he likes to fondle men and who secretly admires handsome boys in his parish. He sees himself as having an, quote, 'occasional weakness,' unquote, that he has satisfied with adults despite guilt feelings." Who is this priest that is being referred to here?
A I would have no knowledge of that.

Q Did you or your other officials make an effort to find out who this priest is that is telling the Sentinel that he's doing this? [page 213 begins]
A When we met with the reporters, they gave us a list of all of the names that they had of gay priests in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The list had been supplied to them by Franklyn Becker, and they came to the realization that it was not an accurate list, that there were men on that list who weren't gay at all but who Becker was kind of being vindictive about and put their name on the list.

So this had left them to be very concerned about what they were doing here, and I would say that the editors were concerned because to get the information that they had -- and I'm not disputing it, to get the information they had after they tried to weed out of the list that Becker had given them -- and, by the way, he did this because he had time on his hands between assignments when I wouldn't assign him anywhere, so you can see what -- the reporters of the Sentinel were -- it was a form of entrapment of priests, and this worried the editors a little bit about the method in which they were obtaining their information, so they were very -- there was a lot going on here behind the scenes.

Q My question to you is did you ever identify Becker as the source of this information? [page 214 begins]
A I didn't. I didn't.

Q This is -- on reading of this, this is suspicious of sexual abuse, isn't it?
A It is.

Q And homosexuality and sexual abuse are two different things?
A Yes.

Q And as an archbishop, you definitely want to get to the bottom of suspicious sexual abuse, right?
A Yes, that's true.

Q The question of homosexuality and acting on homosexuality is a different matter?
A Right.

Q And as an archbishop, you would deal with that differently than you would sexual abuse, right?
A Yes, right.

Q This is suspicious of sexual abuse, so to this day do you know who this person is?
A I don't. They wouldn't reveal it to me. They wouldn't give me any names to go with this as it went ahead.

Q The next page on the left-hand column, the caption in small print says, "Bishops reportedly met." It states, "Most of the word seemed to be getting around the Catholic church upon which the project [page 215 begins] had first focused. A telephone call came from a staff member of the Wisconsin Conference of Catholic Bishops." Who made that call?
A Where are you?

MR. SHRINER: I'm sorry. Let me show you.

MR. ANDERSON: I'm sorry. It's right here, Archbishop, right above --

MR. SHRINER: He's reading right here.


Q It says, "A telephone call came from a staff member of the Wisconsin Conference of Catholic Bishops." Do you know who would have called from the Wisconsin Conference of Catholic Bishops? You would have been the Metropolitan of the Wisconsin Conference of the Catholic Bishops, right?
A Um-hum.

Q Yes?
A Yes, I was, yes.

Q So do you know who the caller was representing --
A I don't know that at all. The secretary of the conference at the time was a man by the name of Chuck Phillips, and I can't imagine anybody else from the conference would have made a call of that [page 216 begins] sort.

Q Okay.
A If anybody from my office would have made the call, it would have had to have been from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Q It then states, "False rumors were spreading that priests had been approached by reporters and threatened with blackmail if they didn't cooperate." Do you know anything about that?
A I don't, and the fact that it came from the Conference of Bishops, it could have been from another of the diocese and not Milwaukee.

Q The next paragraph, first sentence states, "Bishops reportedly met to discuss the subject." What can you tell me and what do you remember about this meeting that's being referred to here?
A I don't remember anything about such a meeting.

Q Did you as archbishop take any action responsive to this -- this series or any action against any priests referred to in it to investigate whether they were abusing minors?
A We didn't have that kind of information from these articles, and I don't think that was the intent of the articles as such.

Q Okay. I'm going to show you [Exhibit] 401, and while Mike is [page 217 begins] getting that, this would be a June 4th part of the series, same series, and the second page of it, the caption is, "Three Catholic Priests Tell of Struggle with Personal, Career Problems." On the right-hand side, Archbishop, I'm going to direct your attention to the second to the last column. It begins, "For years a Wisconsin priest has lived on the edge of trouble." Do you know who that -- was that Becker?
A We're on the right-hand column?

Q Yeah, the second column on the right-hand side, second to the last column.

MR. SHRINER: Over here. Right here.

THE WITNESS: Second to the last column.

Q It states, "He says he has been shunned and rebuffed by some of his colleagues in the Catholic church. Life has left him stranded, isolated from others."
A I have no way of knowing who that was.

Q It then states, "He is homosexual. His attraction is to young men, usually teenagers." Now, that's sexual abuse, isn't it?
A Yes, it is.

Q And do you know of any official of the Archdiocese, [page 218 begins] if you didn't, did anybody make any effort to investigate who this is that may be committing sexual abuse?
A It says his attraction is to a young man. It doesn't say he was acting it out. It could have been of any one of the five diocese.

Q The next paragraph states, "His bishop is aware of him and his orientation. In fact, the priest has been seeing a psychologist." Is this being -- is this you that's being referred to here?
A I don't know. I have no idea.

Q At the bottom of that column it states, "In an interview and written account of his life, he said his orientation has led to repeated problems and repeated transfers to new positions." So do you know anything about that?
A I don't.

Q Okay. Next column to the right, third paragraph down states, "His first two assignments as a priest gave him searching duties" --

MR. SHRINER: Teaching.
Q "Teaching duties and responsibilities among young boys. Both assignments led to sexual involvement." So this refers to young boys. "Such assignments [page 219 begins] led to sexual involvement," that's suspicion of sexual abuse right there, isn't it?
A Yes, it is.

Q Did any official of the Archdiocese investigate this to your knowledge?
A The reporters gave us no names to fit each one of these, and since Becker was the source, I would doubt that he would expose himself that clearly if it were he.

Q Did you ever call Becker in and say Franklyn, was this you that is telling the Sentinel that, you know, you had these transfers, the bishop knows about it and you're involved with young boys and sexual abuse?
A I did not call him in and ask if he was that person, no.

Q Why not --
A I --

Q -- if you knew he was the source?
A I didn't trust him on anything on this. I didn't want anything to do with it, and I was surprised because I recall vividly when the reporters came to see me, they turned off their tape recorder, and it was evident they knew that I knew who the source of all this was, and when it came to Becker, they said [page 220 begins] we know that this source is not to be trusted, that he fantasizes a lot and talks about things that he doesn't know about and there's a certain vindictiveness involved, so I think even they were concerned about what they were writing.

Q The --
A All they're saying is that some priest said this to them, and you take it for what it's worth.

Q Well, he's making an admission, as I read it, that he was committing sexual abuse, but we can move on.
A You'd have to get him alone to say whether he meant himself there.

Q And you knew Becker was the source but the bottom line is you didn't ask Becker because you didn't trust him?
A Right.

Q But you trusted him enough to keep him in the ministry, in the Archdiocese, didn't you?
A I was doing my best to keep him under lock and key.

Q The next paragraph says, "Finally his home diocese in Wisconsin placed him in a parish where he fell in love with a youth." Now, that's suspicious of sexual abuse?
A It is, but it doesn't sound like Becker to talk that way. [page 221 begins]

Q So we might be talking about another priest here, but you don't even know because you didn't look or ask, right?
A I couldn't get an answer.

Q Okay. What did you ask?
A I asked the press about the information but couldn't -- they wouldn't put a name on anybody, which makes this a very dubious document, very dubious document, and they knew it was a dubious document.

Q I'm going to refer you to No. 312. Now, while Mike is getting it, this is dated August 2nd, 1981, so this would be after the Sentinel series ran in June of '81. Okay. And Exhibit 12 -- excuse me -- 312 is on stationery of St. John's Rectory in South Milwaukee dated August 2, '81. It's a letter from Becker to you. Do you remember receiving this?
A Yes, I do.

Q It says, "Your Excellency, at the request of Father Joseph Janicki and after due consultation with Dr. Dale Olen, I am hereby complying with your request for a written letter of commitment to the priestly ideal of celibacy," so in August you have taken the extraordinary action of demanding that he sign a letter of a commitment to celibacy when he's [page 222 begins] already made a commitment to that at ordination that continues, right?
A Yes.

Q So this is kind of an extraordinary action. Why did you do this?
A I probably did it on the basis of suspicions, not -- you know, I had my doubts, too.

Q You had suspicions that he had sexually abused?
A Or could abuse, yeah.

Q And the next paragraph states, "As you know, the last five years of my priesthood have been years of struggle and searching, a struggle to deal honestly with myself and the church into which I was born. While the struggle is by no means over, I feel that with the aid of Dr. Olen, I've been given greater insights into myself and am now able to deal with my orientation in a way that will not be destructive to me or to the church." So he's making some assurances to you now that he's not going to do this again what he had done before, right?
A It would seem that way.

Q And you already told me that you didn't trust him at this time anyway, so these assurances didn't mean a thing to you, did they? [page 223 begins]
A They still left me worried.

Q But he continued in ministry?
A Yes. The question was how do we get rid of him.

Q I'm going to show you Exhibit 300 now. We're going to go back to that 300 exhibit.

MR. SHRINER: The one in front of you.

MR. ANDERSON: Thank you.

Q And I'm going to direct your attention in Exhibit 300 to the date which is -- the page is Bates stamped 846. Look at that one.

MR. SHRINER: They're out of order, I think. It's after -- it's right after 847.

THE WITNESS: I have 846.

Q Do you see 846?
A Yes.

Q Look at the top of 846, number 740, "Franklyn Becker." I'll read it. "Father Carl Last called to say that." Do you know who Father Carl is?
A Yes, I do.

Q Who is that?
A He is at present Director of the Cathedral.

Q And is his name Father Carl Last?
A Yes. [page 224 begins]

Q Okay. And at this time what was he, do you know?
A I don't know.

Q Okay. It says, "Father Carl Last called to say that Blank who live in St. John Parish are worried about the relationship that exists between Becker and their teenage son. Becker is lavishing gifts and attention on the boy and the two are spending a lot of time together. I told Last it would be helpful if the parents of the boy went directly to Becker and informed him that they wanted this to stop." What did you know about this, Archbishop?
A I don't remember this at all, but it's possible it existed.

Q This is suspicious of sexual abuse, correct?
A It's suspicious, yes. It shows all the signs of the way predators begin their actions.

Q And this, as in the earlier incidents that have been recorded and/or reported, was not made known to law enforcement, correct?
A No.

Q By the Archdiocese, correct?
A Correct.

Q And it was not made known to the parishioners where Becker had been serving and was serving at this time, correct? [page 225 begins]
A Correct.

Q Turn to the next page, and in the middle of the first paragraph it begins with, "Father Heffron told me he is very upset because Becker has been acting very strangely since Heffron received his new assignment." In the middle it says, "The most recent was Becker's acceptance of a chaplaincy for one week on a Caribbean cruise. Heffron did not object to this but later has found out that Becker has taken a seventh grade boy on a trip with him -- on the trip with him," which means that he took the boy on the Caribbean cruise?
A Right.

Q Did you learn about that?
A I learned about it later, yes.

Q How much later?
A Probably after he got back.

Q This is 12/1/82 the notation is made.
A I probably learned about it 12/7, by this next one.

Q Did you take any remedial action?
A As I recall, the vicar at the time investigated it. I was under the impression that the mother had said that nothing had happened. That's as I recalled it.

Q It is certainly suspicious for sexual abuse again, isn't it?
A It is. It is. We knew that. [page 226 begins]

Q Turn two pages to 842 in Exhibit 300.
A 842?

Q Yeah.
A I have it.

Q And you'll see under 112, "Father X," do you see that?
A Yes.

Q "Father X is Franklyn Becker for the purpose of this news note. I received a letter from Blank." What does Father X mean?
A I have no idea.

Q Okay. In the middle of this, I'm going to read something and then I'll ask you a question. It states, "What is disturbing is the fact that Becker continues to associate with the young boy he took on the cruise from St. John's Parish in South Milwaukee. Most recently they both attended the permanent diaconate ordination at the Cathedral. He is also seeing a boy from St. Eugene's Parish in violation of the wishes of the boy's mother, who is a widow." So we have more reports of suspicions of sexual abuse by Becker in January of '83, correct?
A Correct. [page 227 begins]

Q Becker has continued in ministry without restriction, correct?
A I'm not sure about that, but he probably had to see his psychiatrist weekly and that kind of restriction.

Q He is sent to a psychologist. Do you recall that?
A Dale Olen.

Q Okay. And I'll show you Exhibit 313, and that's Psychological Associates, and this is -- this is Psychological Associates -- or Psychology Associates, and this is, I think, Dr. Gillette, isn't it?
A Yes.

Q This is a multi-page report, and I'm going to just direct your attention to a few portions of it. You'll note it's dated February 21st, '83. It references Franklyn Becker, and obviously they had permission from him to share this with you, right?
A They had permission to -- yes, I was looking, I can't find it, whether there was any note that it had to be destroyed after a certain time. Usually these things had to be destroyed.

Q Yeah, and that was a regular practice when there was scandalous material that was in something like this, there was often a practice that it would be [page 228 begins] destroyed --
A Um-hum.

Q -- so that it would not be disseminated, correct?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Pardon me. The question is compound asking about multiple documents now of different sorts.

Q Is that correct, Archbishop?
A Here?

Q Yes.
A As I understood it, after a certain period it was to be destroyed and no one was permitted to see it but the person who -- the priest who had signed off on with their name.

Q Right. In this case the referral source was the vicar for clergy, Joseph Janicki, the vicar for Priest Personnel, Archdiocese of Milwaukee, who was under you at the time, correct?
A Yes.

Q I'm going to direct your attention to this report that is Bates stamped -- I think it's page seven of it. Look at page seven of the report. It's numbered at the top. Under psychiatric evaluation, the second paragraph reads, "The recurrent problems are due to Father Becker's gay orientation." In [page 229 begins] the middle it states, "He states he will tend to become involved with adolescent boys in the age range of 12 to 16 years of age. The youngest was 12 years of age." This is an admission by Becker to the evaluator that he had engaged in criminal sexual conduct with these boys, correct?
A Yes.

Q At the bottom of this document, the first sentence in that paragraph states, "The diagnostic impression would be pedophilia," correct?
A Yes.

Q And pedophilia you know is a compulsive sexual interest in prepubescent children?
A Yes. Here it may mean more than that.

Q It's often broadly used to refer also to a compulsive sexual interest in children in general?
A Yes.

Q Correct?
A Yes.

Q And we know -- at least you know that ephebophilia is a compulsive sexual interest in postpubescent --
A Right, but here I wasn't sure whether that meant -- also when they use pedophilia, they might also mean ephebophilia because it was used for a larger category. [page 230 begins]

Q And those are clinical terms, but the bottom line is if you're an ephebophile or pedophile, you're also a criminal, that means you're abusing kids, right?
A Exactly.

Q And if you do that, you belong in jail, right?
A No doubt.

Q And that's for the police and the prosecutors to do and --
A If they do it, okay, yeah.

Q And did you ever give this information to the police or the prosecutors?
A That I wasn't allowed to do.

Q Who said you weren't allowed to do it?
A Because this was a document that had a confidential agreement between the priest and the analyst, and my understanding was that if this was disseminated like we're doing now, we could be sued by him for this break of confidentiality.

Q This is evidence of a crime. Was it your belief that there was some contractual obligation between you and the priest that required you to conceal his crimes?
A No, but I think there was an understanding that he went into this evaluation, that it would be [page 231 begins] restricted use. I don't think he would have said any of these things if it had been otherwise, and this is a problem you get into then in terms of confidentiality of it and, in fact, it gets worse now because nothing is confidential.

Q I'm going to direct your attention to page 13 of this document, Archbishop. In the middle of it, at the fourth paragraph down and the second sentence, it reads -- page 13, fourth paragraph, middle, it reads, "It further suggests that there is a high likelihood that he will continue to act out sexually, especially with adolescent males if given the opportunity." So this expert retained by the Archdiocese is telling you and other officials this guy is going to continue to commit crimes against youth, right?
A Right.

Q And it is also correct to say that you and the officials of the Archdiocese continued him in ministry without warning the parishioners and the parents of the youth that he was continuing to be at risk for offending?
A That's true.

Q I'm going to put you back to 300 again, and it will be the last time I think we'll use that exhibit, [page 232 begins] and chronologically I'm going to direct your attention to this because this would have occurred after. This is Bates stamped 840, Archbishop. The date is 3/15/83, but look at the Bates stamp. That's the best way to get it.
A Yes.

Q Okay. Do you see 840?
A I see 840.

Q At the top it says, "District attorney." Do you see that?
A Yes.

Q I'm going to read it. Number one, "Without any names mentioned and off the record, I described the situation regarding Franklyn Becker to E. Michael McCann, the district attorney." What do you know about -- who would this have been in '83?
A I can't give it to you right away.

Q This is the vicar --
A I have it written down at home but not with me. Father Janicki would possibly still have been in office.

Q Would this have been Sklba?
A I think that came a little later.

Q Okay. Mike tells me that he thinks it's either the vicar general -- one of the vicar generals, Burst [page 233 begins] or Gass. Do you have any reason to believe that?

MR. SHRINER: Are you thinking Brust?


MR. ANDERSON: Brust I mean.

MR. SHRINER: Or Glass.

THE WITNESS: Phil Glass, it wouldn't have been Phil Glass. I don't think it would have been Brust.

Q So it could have been Janicki?
A Janicki would be my suspicion.

Q In any case, he uses the term "I." He says -- what do you know about the vicar for clergy or one of the officials meeting with McCann about this?
A Yes, I think that this was a way of trying to find out from McCann how we should move on a case like Becker where we were pretty sure that -- what his orientation was toward youngsters and yet we didn't have any kind of victims coming forth at that point, but how to -- what to do with him, how to work with it, and I'm sure that's what the vicar was talking to McCann about, what -- if the Statute of Limitation expires, how do we act? How do we move on it?

Q Well, Becker had recently been sent to Psychology [page 234 begins] Associates where he admitted having abused kids and admitted to having been a continuing risk and he carried a diagnosis of pedophilia and/or ephebophilia and the vicar for clergy is meeting with McCann on March 15th, 1983, months after the Psychology Associates reports and after multiple reports regarding Becker; this is within any Statute of Limitations, isn't it, Archbishop?
A It would sound to me given the dates now that it would be within the Statute of Limitations.

Q This goes on to read, "His reaction immediately was that the priest has been given adequate warnings and enough chances and that he should not be assigned anywhere he could come in contact with youngsters. This precludes practically any kind of assignment. His advice was that we restrict him from ministry for about five years and if no complaints come forth in that time, then perhaps he can be given another chance." That advice is recorded by the vicar for clergy as given by McCann. Was that followed by you?
A I doubt that because it's rather vague, and I don't know that I would have wanted him sitting around for five years. It's either in or out. Sitting around for five years was not something you -- I [page 235 begins] think the real question at that point would have been should he be -- should the case be sent to Rome for dismissal.

Q The real question that I have is at this point in time why isn't Becker prosecuted? Why -- go ahead and answer.
A I'm not sure either why he wouldn't have been prosecuted.

Q Why didn't the Archdiocese give Becker the -- excuse me -- give the prosecutor, McCann, the information that you had in -- that it had in its files that I've been reviewing with you here for the last few hours?
A I don't know that. I don't know how much information was given to McCann because it doesn't tell us here. It seems to me --

Q What kind of relationship did the Archdiocese have with McCann. Was it kind of cozy?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Show my objection. The question was as to the Archdiocese, which is an organization, versus the witness here. Go ahead.

THE WITNESS: My feeling was that McCann wanted to be of help always to the Archdiocese, but he was a darn good district attorney, so I don't [page 236 begins] think there was any special relationship that you could say certainly I don't know of anybody on my staff who would have socialized with Mike McCann. That was just not a part of it.

Q Were there any other instances where information was reported to McCann within the Statute of Limitations such as this where it wasn't prosecuted that you're aware?
A I don't know of any offhand right now.

Q Any other priests that you can recall reported to McCann besides Becker?
A Well, there were other cases that came forward, like the Effinger or some of these that went to trial, yes, those would have been reported, and later I think almost all the cases that we had, the old cases, were given to McCann.

Q I'm showing you [Exhibit] 315. This is 315. "Dear Frank," at the second paragraph you state, "However, a second reason I have in mind for writing this letter is to caution you that because of past personal problems." Is that kind of code referring to his orientation -- his sexual abuse of the teenagers?
A Yes. Yes. [page 237 begins]

Q Okay. You go on to state, "Should further occurrences of this same nature arise, I will have no alternative but to take canonical steps that would bar you from exercising any of the powers of orders or jurisdiction which you have as a priest." In other words, you're threatening to take canonical action, but you chose not to, correct?
A At that point, yes.

Q Okay. When did you?
A Later on he was restricted, but I don't have all of that in front of me.

Q He's at the hospital, he's a chaplain here, you'll see, at St. Joseph's Hospital?
A Yes.

Q Who did you tell at the hospital that you knew that this guy had admitted that he abused teens, there were multiple reports and that he had been diagnosed as a pedophile or any of the above?
A I don't recall that anybody at the hospital was informed, but I don't know what Father Janicki may have done in that regard.

Q All right.
A You omitted reading the strongest sentence that affected Becker. "In addition, you would have no right to any financial support from the [page 238 begins] Archdiocese," which probably had more weight with him than anything.

MR. ANDERSON: I think we're running out of tape here. I think we need to take a little break, and it's a little before five, so we're going to go off the record here.

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We are off the record at 4:53 p.m. This is the end of disk number three in the deposition of Archbishop Weakland.

(Discussion off the record.)

(Proceedings adjourned on June 5, 2008, at 4:53 p.m. and reconvened on June 6, 2008, at 9:03 a.m.)

(Mr. Kevin M. Henderson and Mr. Mark S. Nelson no longer present.)

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We are on the record at 9:03 a.m. Today's date is June 6, 2008. This is disk number one, volume two, of the deposition of Archbishop Rembert Weakland. This deposition is being taken in the matter of Does versus Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Archdiocese of Sioux Falls. This matter is pending in the Circuit Court, Civil Division, the County of Milwaukee, State of Wisconsin, Case No. 05-CV-1351 and files numbered 07-CV-008390 and 2007-CV-10888. [page 239 begins]
       This deposition is taking place at the offices of Foley & Lardner, located at 777 East Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My name is John Spohnholtz, videographer for Brown & Jones Reporting, and the court reporter is Melissa Stark. Will counsel please state their appearances and whom they represent, beginning with plaintiffs' counsel, and then the reporter will swear in the witness.

MR. ANDERSON: For the plaintiff Does, Jeff Anderson.

MR. FINNEGAN: For the plaintiff Does as well, Mike Finnegan.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: For the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, it's John Rothstein.

MS. BENEDON: For the Diocese of Sioux Falls, Carrie Benedon.

MR. SHRINER: I'm Tom Shriner and I represent Archbishop Weakland personally, and we don't need to swear him in again, I assume.


(Witness previously sworn.)

Q Good morning, Archbishop. Ready to go forward and [page 240 begins] get this done?
A Yes.

Q Okay. Feeling all right this morning?
A Sure.

Q All right. Good. Off the record you had mentioned yesterday you had remembered the name of the cardinal from the congregation of the clergy that you had met with and you had told me off the record. Maybe you could give that to us now?
A At that time he was an Archbishop, Archbishop Sepe, S-E-P-E.

Q And on the topic of your meetings with the Vatican that you had identified to a number where you and other ordinaries from the U.S. discussed the topic of sexual abuse and how it was being handled at the highest level in Rome, did you ever get any change in protocol, policy or practice from Rome to the bishops as to how to deal with these issues?
A Yes, it came after some time. I don't have all those dates in my mind, but the Pope himself changed the code with regard to Statute of Limitations so that they would correspond more readily to what was the majority of states in the United States. That happened. I know that a group of cardinals went over and talked to him about [page 241 begins] trying to set up some kind of change in THE VIDEOGRAPHER system so it could move more rapidly. I don't know what other things may have taken place. We did receive brochures but I think they were prepared here in the United States.

Q So the Vatican relaxed or extended the Statute of Limitations for the prosecution of canonical crimes?
A Right.

Q In Wisconsin there has been an effort in the legislature to consider extending Statute of Limitations for civil actions?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Show my objection as to relevancy of this proceeding since any new legislation would only affect the new claims as opposed to old claims.

Q My question to you is, Archbishop, has anybody from your office or the office of the Archdiocese to your knowledge worked actively to defeat or oppose legislation that would allow victims of abuse more time to assert civil claims?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Same objection as to the relevancy of that issue to these proceedings.

THE WITNESS: All I know about that is [page 242 begins] what I would read in the newspapers. I have not gone to a bishops meeting in the state since 2002.

Q Do you personally believe that it would be wrong for the bishops to take a position that relaxes the Statute of Limitations and allows more time for survivors to seek justice?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Now asking a fact witness, a retired Archbishop, to simply speculate or give opinions as opposed to fact testimony.

THE WITNESS: I know that the Statute of Limitations are there for a purpose, and the older I get, the harder it is to go back to the '70s and the '60s with any kind of accuracy. Most of the people we're talking about are already deceased, and so I would have kind of a mixed feeling about that.

Q Okay. We've been spending a date together and we looked at a lot of documents from the '70s and the '60s and '80s that helped us reconstruct what happened back there, didn't we?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Same objection. Also the characterization as to "help," [page 243 begins] whether it helped or not.

THE WITNESS: I was amazed how many documents we preserved.

Q I'm going to direct your attention back to Franklyn Becker and continue with a few more questions. I'm going to refer you to Exhibit 317. This is a handwritten note. It appears to be from -- it was dated July 26, 1990, and it's from Ralph. Would that be Ralph Fliss?
A No.

Q Ralph Sampon?
A No.

Q Do you know --

MR. SHRINER: It was Bob.

Q Who was the Ralph, do you know?
A I would judge it would have been Ralph Gross.

Q And who would have Ralph Gross been then?
A He would have been the chancellor.

Q Okay. And it says, "Dear Dick, the nurse at the VA approached Father Russ Tikalsky yesterday and said that her son Blank was a patient for two days at West Allis Hospital. Father Franklyn Becker apparently took a liking to this boy, a teenager, [page 244 begins] and even though he knew him for only two days, he has been calling the boy and was seen driving by his home. The mother is concerned." This again was in the Archdiocese file. This is 1990, and this information in itself is very suspicious of sexual abuse by Becker of this boy, isn't it?
A It certainly would fit that profile.

Q And when we take this information, based on what we already know through the documents that we looked at about Becker's diagnosis as a pedophile, the multiple reports having been made and his own admissions that he had abused, do you know what action, if any, was done in response to this note?
A I've never seen it before, and I'm not sure who the Dick would be here, so I can't answer. I don't know what would have been done.

Q It's evident by this note that Becker is a chaplain in a hospital. It's also evident that as a chaplain in the hospital, he was able to access this youth. Do you have any idea how many other youths he accessed appropriately or inappropriately while working as a chaplain at this hospital?
A No, I don't.

Q Did any report get made about this to the police in 1990 at the time it came to the Archdiocese and the [page 245 begins] chancellor?
A I don't know. I can't answer that.

Q I'm going to refer you back to 300 here, Archbishop. And in this packet, this exhibit, I'm going to refer you to 831?

MR. SHRINER: How far down is it, about halfway, a little beyond halfway?


Q And direct your attention to entry 8 -- excuse me -- 483. This states, "On August 29, 1992, I gave tentative approval to Tom Trepanier for utilizing Franklyn Becker as a weekend help out at Cascade after Dick Fetherston's departure and in view of Jim Thurman's unwillingness to continue that particular assignment." When the writer says "I," that would mean the then vicar for clergy, correct?
A Yes.

Q And the vicar for clergy has authority to do that only from and through you as the presiding Archbishop, correct?
A Yes.

Q When approval was given to Tom Trepanier by you and the chancellor for Becker to work as a weekend [page 246 begins] priest at Cascade, was any warning given to the parishioners that Becker had a long history of molestation and that the Archdiocese had known it?
A I do not know.

Q Okay. The next entry at 691 states, "On September 25th, 1992, Archbishop Weakland, bishop" --
A Sklba.

Q -- "Sklba and I met with Franklyn Becker to discuss his future assignment." Do you remember that meeting with the bishop Sklba, yourself and Becker?
A Vaguely.

Q It clearly reflects you're considering giving him a future assignment, correct?
A I was weighing it.

Q Okay. It goes on to state, "Franklyn was very frank about certain issues in his past." Do you remember him admitting that he had multiple instances of slips or molestations of teenagers?
A I do not.

Q Okay. Do you know what is being referred to here then when it's written, "Franklyn was very frank about certain issues in his past"?
A I took it to be, as I read it, his orientation toward younger people. [page 247 begins]

Q Sexual abuse of teenagers perhaps?
A Yes.

Q It goes on to state, "And was aware of the implications for future assignments." It states, "He said he liked the short-term help outs like he is now doing in Cascade. He also mentioned early retirement as a possibility. He is now 55. He was thanked for his honesty and Archbishop Weakland told him how we would need time to discuss all these concerns in deciding on his future assignment." Do you remember telling him that you would need time to consider what you were going to do with him?
A I know I delayed, yes.

Q Okay. And what do you remember ultimately doing?
A If you look at the next one, you'll see I think we were all very much concerned about it, yeah.

Q Okay. Well, let's look at the next one. It states, "On September 25, 1992, I joined the Archbishop and Tom Venne" -- who was then -- what was his position then?
A He was the vicar at that time.

Q -- "in meeting with Lyn." That would be Becker, correct?
A Yes. [page 248 begins]
Q -- "To discuss future options. I noted the many reasons which counseled against his assignment to parish ministry at this time." So that kind of refreshes your recollection of what happened?
A Yes.

Q Okay. Turn to the next page then. And at the top of it, it states, "On December seventh, 1992" -- and this would be a little over two months later -- it states, "I received calls from Blank and Blank and Blank from St. Mary's Cascade supportive of Franklyn Becker's ministry. A person from the parish is calling parishioners to sign a petition to have Franklyn removed. They said Franklyn is getting people back to church, including young people, and wish he could stay." Do you remember or does this refresh your recollection to remember that Becker continued to have contact with young people while he worked at St. Mary's in Cascade?
A The word "young people" there is a little vague, so I'm not sure what they meant by young people. As I recall that situation, there was a split in the parish. He was still on a temporary help there, and the parish was very run down, and he was beginning to renovate. That I think is evident as it moves ahead. [page 249 begins]

Q At the time of this, a call was received and this information recorded by the vicar for clergy and in the files of the Archdiocese, do you know if any effort was made to get out there to St. Mary's in Cascade and say wait a minute, we know that Becker has had a history of molesting teenagers. We know that he has admitted having done so. We know that he has been diagnosed as a pedophile or ephebophile and we know that he is likely to or it has been determined that he is likely to reoffend, do you know if anything like that was done or at this time responsive to this information recorded in December of '92?
A I can't answer that clearly because I would have to know at what point we began with Deacon McGuire and our other means of whether we had informed the parish council there or not, I couldn't tell you.

Q Okay.
A Because I'm not sure when that was put into effect.

Q Okay. Three months after -- if a parish council is told about such a history, as we know now to be and as reflected in these documents, that does not mean that the parishioners would know, correct?
A They would be parishioners. Parish council is parishioners. [page 250 begins]

Q The parish council is a group of laity --
A Right. Right.

Q -- who comprise the council, but those that attend mass and bring their children to youth retreats and activities would have no way of knowing, unless the parish council is instructed by the Archdiocese to instruct them, correct?
A A parish council would have been instructed to let the vicar know if there were any problems arising, yes, but not tell the whole parish.

Q All right.
A I have kind of a suspicion knowing these country parishes, that parish councils talk a lot.

Q Well, you wouldn't really want to -- it appears that the Archdiocese chose not to disseminate that information widely because, as you've said, it could hurt the reputation of the priest and the Archdiocese?
A I did not say that.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. It misstates the testimony.

THE WITNESS: I didn't say that. I said that my feeling was there was only two options, either you give him limited service this way with some kind of guidelines, serious ones on our part, [page 251 begins] and at the same time some kind of monitoring system, but -- and the other was to try to get him out of priesthood. I don't think there were other options.

Q Who was monitoring him at this time on December seventh, 1992?
A See, I don't have my records in front of me when we set in that system of monitoring.

Q It doesn't appear that the monitor, if there was one, was brought into this conversation and this information recorded in December, does it?
A I'm not sure.

Q Okay. Let's look at the entry at 107. This is February 24th, 1993. This is now three months -- a little less than three months later, two-and-a-half months later. It states, "On February 24th, 1993, I received a call from Blank, who alleges inappropriate sexual behavior on the part of Franklyn Becker. The alleged behavior happened when Franklyn was assigned to St. [Margaret] Mary Parish. Believe this was in 1997 [misread or mistranscribed; the year given in the Vicar's Log is 1977] shortly after he graduated from high school." Do you know what was done with this information?
A Right now I don't know if that person who brought [page 252 begins] that information -- because it's been marked out, if that was a victim or a third-party or what. I have no way of knowing.

Q The last sentence says, "I made an appointment for 3/1/93 with Blank, Dr. Liz Piasecki and myself." At that time Project Benjamin was in place?
A Yes, I think.

Q And Liz Piasecki was the director of it?
A Yes.

Q I'm going to show you Exhibit 321, and this is a typewritten note to you from Barbara Anne Cusack --
A Cusack.

Q -- regarding a request for a celebret?
A Yes.

Q Dated January 14th, 1994, and there's a handwritten notation on here, "Barbara," can you read that? I read it to say "Okay to celebret. "
A "Okay to celebret," yes.

Q And that's a signature there. Whose initials is that?
A Mine.

Q So you approved him to be a celebret responsive to this request?
A I approved that the chancellor give a celebret, which means he could say mass aboard ship. [page 253 begins]

Q Do you recall that he had traveled aboard a ship with a youth before on a cruise? Do you remember that?
A I remember that, yes.

Q Did you remember that when you approved him going on this cruise to be a celebret?
A I have no idea.

Q It states, "The attached request for a celebret stating his good standing and permission to be outside the Diocese came in from Becker." So by approving this and okaying it, you're representing to whomever he was going to perform this celebret for that he was in good standing, correct?
A That's more than what a celebret says. A celebret says he can say mass. I would give him permission to say mass aboard ship.

Q Okay. Did -- was anybody on the ship to whom he was telling mass told that he was a priest with a history that made him a risk?
A I would have no idea.

Q I'm going to show you Exhibit 327. Archbishop, this is dated July 19, 1996, it's addressed to you, bishop --


MR. ANDERSON: -- Sklba. [page 254 begins]

MR. SHRINER: Just pretend there's a vowel in there.
Q And Reverend Carrol Straub from Liz Piasecki, psychologist regarding Becker. It's marked privileged and confidential, and it states, "On July 17th, '96, I had an extended conversation with Dr. Marlene Trachsel, the psychologist who is treating Franklyn Becker," and it goes on to state, "During the course of that conversation, Dr. Trachsel articulated the following concerns," and of those concerns, I direct your attention to number two. It states, "Father Becker now, (again), identifies himself as a pedophile and asks Dr. Trachsel to sign a statement to that effect so that he could collect a private disability policy which he holds." Do you remember receiving this memo?
A I have a vague recollection of it but not very detailed.

Q I'll direct your attention to item number four at the second page. It states, "Father Becker is in conflict with some adolescent boys who live next door and she wonders if there hasn't been some kind of prior advances which have contributed to the [page 255 begins] present aggression against him by these boys." This is current events that are being reported by Trachsel to Piasecki, Piasecki to you and bishop Sklba. What was done with this information by the Archdiocese?
A I know that we worked very much with Dr. -- I think she called herself Trachsel and that she continued to monitor him constantly for years, and I can't tell you exactly what we did this time with him.

Q There's no evidence in this document or any others that I've seen that this information was brought to the police. Do you have any?
A No, I don't.

Q The next item, number five, says, "She believes Father Becker may be in possession of child pornography in his home." You're aware that an adult abusing a teenager is a crime, correct?
A Yes.

Q You're also aware that possession of child pornography is also a crime?
A Yes.

Q And to your knowledge, what action do you remember was taken by the Archdiocese responsive to this information of Becker continuing to commit crimes while serving as a priest of the Archdiocese? [page 256 begins]
A I know that we took this very seriously because this was a serious letter and followed the advice that Trachsel was giving us and the fact that she continued him still to be a risk, but at the same time I think we had not yet acted as we should have perhaps to -- I don't know what we did after this, whether we -- what kind of a letter we sent to him at that point or how we worked with him.

Q In any case, this was not reported to the police, was it?
A Not to my knowledge.

Q I'm going to --
A I do recollect, as I read the last sentence, about should we be counseling, considering encouraging the focus of therapy to shift to counseling him out of the priesthood and voluntary resignation and have the doctor start in that line. I remember that because that was serious, and often the counselors of the priest pedophiles were -- would ask that question of us, and I always said yes, they should counsel them to get out of the priesthood voluntarily. That saves all the rigamarole of having to try to do a case against them.

Q Getting them out of the priesthood is one thing and [page 257 begins] counseling them to do so is reflected here, but the fact is, Archbishop, you had the power and authority at this time to remove him from ministry altogether?
A Yes, I did.

MR. SHRINER: It's not clear that he had not already been removed from ministry at this time. I thought he was living at home, isn't that the premise?

Q Let's look at [Exhibit] 329 then. 329 is dated January 30th, 1997. This is a letter from Reverend Straub, who is the vicar for clergy. It's to Becker. It states, "Dear Franklyn, I merely wanted to confirm what we agreed to at our meeting with the Archbishop on 1/29/97." That would be the day before this letter?
A Right.

Q "It seemed to be a profitable meeting. I was pleased to hear you acknowledge that you reflect on your actions and are beginning to realize and accept that each has consequences." Next paragraph it states, "The Archbishop was clear in pointing out that the insurance risk for your conduct is totally an Archdiocesan responsibility." Now, when [page 258 begins] you pointed that out to Becker, you were basically saying to him look it, if you reoffend, you continue to do what you have done in the past in ministry for us, it is our responsibility, so you were warning him not to do that, right?
A Yes.

Q It goes on to state at the next paragraph, "It was agreed upon that you could continue to do help-out ministry as in the past in the Rubicon area." So he is allowed to continue in ministry with the admonition given, right?
A Yes, I think the Rubicon area because that was near where his mother was living, and she was in her nineties at that point.

Q At this point in time or any point in time, Archbishop, from -- until your resignation in 2000 -- May of 2002, did you or anybody at your direction from the Archdiocese ever go back or direct that somebody go back to every parish where Becker worked and was assigned to reach out to the multiple victims that are identified in these documents and that may be suffering in those parishes?
A At that time I don't think we did more than a general listing of the phone number where people [page 259 begins] could call with the publicity of Project Benjamin, so it was a general thing for the whole Diocese.

Q And at any time did the Archdiocese under your direction ever go back to those assignments, be it at hospitals, parishes or elsewhere, and notify the parishioners that he had ministered to, that the Archdiocese knew that Becker was a child molester and that they knew that he had posed a danger to children and that they had known it for some time?
A We never made that kind of a statement to my knowledge, and could I say that I gave a wrong name with regard to the permanent deacon. I said McGuire. It's McGuine.

Q Okay. Thank you. Bishop Sklba comes up a number of times here in the Becker documents, as in other instances. Would it be fair to say that in connection with the handling of Becker and other offending priests in the Archdiocese while you were Archbishop, bishop Sklba was your main go-to guy?
A He was the auxiliary bishop, so I would say he was my main go-to guy on many things, yes.

Q And on the sexual abuse issue --
A Certainly he would be involved in all of them, yes.

Q And so Raphael Fliss comes up a number of times, too, and he has served -- had served a number of [page 260 begins] positions in the Archdiocese in Milwaukee. Was he also somebody that you turned to for dealing with the offenders that were in ministry?
A Not at all. He left in 1979 for Superior, and so I would not have consulted him.

Q He was -- were you aware that he was a key official before you were appointed Archbishop?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Object. Foundation.

THE WITNESS: In general church structure, an assistant chancellor is not very much.

Q Okay. Did you ever ask Fliss what he knew about offenders who were serving in the Archdiocese when you were installed as Archbishop?
A No, I didn't.

Q Before your installation as Archbishop in ' '77, what other officials besides Fliss that you're aware are still alive that had dealings with offenders in the Archdiocese and how they dealt with them under the direction of Archbishop Cousins?
A Those I knew who would have handled directly such cases, chancellors, for example, under Archbishop [page 261 begins] Cousins are all deceased and even bishop Brust, his auxiliary, is deceased.

Q So Fliss would have as much information about that topic as anybody that you're aware of at least that's still around?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me. Assumes facts. No foundation. Go ahead.

THE WITNESS: I could not tell you how much he knew because -- just I couldn't tell you that.

Q I understand. Thanks. George Nuedling, spelled N-U-E-D-L-I-N-G, was a priest of the Archdiocese, correct?
A Yes.

Q And he was an offender, correct?
A Yes.

Q And were you aware that in 1986 bishop Sklba confronted Nuedling with allegations of sexual abuse and Nuedling admitted it to him?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: I'll simply show my objection to relevancy since, as I understand it, the three cases we have again are MacArthur, Widera and Becker.

THE WITNESS: I knew that there were [page 262 begins] cases against Nuedling, but I didn't know how or who had confronted him.

Q Did you have knowledge or do you remember that Nuedling was told not to be alone with minors but allowed to remain at the rectory until 1993 when another report came in, do you know that?
A I cannot answer that.

Q Okay. Father Dennis Pecore was a Salvatorian order priest working in the Archdiocese; was he not?
A Yes, he was.

Q In 1984 a teacher reported Pecore to -- information we have to you at the Archdiocese and do you have a memory of that?
A Yes, I do.

Q What do you remember about that?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Same objection.

THE WITNESS: There was a dispute going on among the Salvatorians because the provincial had removed the principal of the grade school, Father Bruce Bentrup or something of this sort. I can't give that exactly. And it caused a bit of excitement among the teachers. So was this Niebler (phonetic) the person who wrote me?

MR. ANDERSON: I think it was. [page 263 begins]

THE WITNESS: I received oodles of letters about why Father Brust should still be the principal and I would always -- this is an internal matter among the Salvatorians. If they want to remove one of their men, then that's their right to do that from the school. The pastor of the parish came to see me about it saying how much disturbance there was and wondering what to do about it, and I recall that he made accusations against Niebler, and I said well, if you're going to do this, you've got to substantiate it. I'm not going to take this kind of just there's a rumor out there that, so that was the -- then Niebler writes me a letter in which he again talks about the principal should not be removed.
       And in the letter he has a short paragraph in the body of the letter, it wasn't the letter, in the body of the letter, he said something to the effect about there's some hanky panky going on over in the rectory, in the section of the rectory where the priests have their rooms, and you'd have to look at that more carefully. I don't have -- I never had a file on Pecore, so I don't think Pecore's name is even mentioned in the letter at all, so this was quite different. That's [page 264 begins] the information he wrote me.

Q Okay. So you do have a memory at least of the teacher reporting Pecore to you?
A No.

Q You don't?
A He did not name anybody. He simply said there's hanky panky going on over in the rectory.

Q Did you ask who it is that -- at the rectory, what priest it was that was engaged in hanky panky?
A What I did was --

Q I'm going to try to get through this so I can catch a flight. Did you ask who it was?

MR. SHRINER: You know, you asked him what he remembered about this incident, and I appreciate you're trying to catch a flight, but you ought to listen to his answer.


Q I know, but my question is did you ask him who it was?
A I found out who it was, but I'm not quite sure how I did, and it wasn't from Niebler, I don't think. I did find out -- I know the provincial came to see me and I judged through the provincial.

Q Eldred Lesniewski -- was Pecore's -- did Pecore [page 265 begins] have faculties to minister in the Archdiocese at that time?

MR. ROTHSTEIN: Pardon me, counsel, I'll state one more objection that --

MR. ANDERSON: You can have a continuing objection to relevancy.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: I have questions for Archbishop Weakland also, and I'm mindful of your flight, but it's your choice if --

MR. ANDERSON: I'm not going to restrict you to ask questions. Don't worry. These matters are irrelevant to these proceedings, but I've lodged my objection. I appreciate the standing objection, and so if we get to the time, you'll understand.

MR. ANDERSON: You bet.

Q Eldred Lesniewski was a priest of the Archdiocese. Do you recall that he was sued in 1992?
A I remember something about that, yes.

Q And after that civil suit was brought, do you recall placing him in ministry and appointing him pastor of Emaculate Conception in Juneau?
A I cannot remember all of that about Eldred Lesniewski. It doesn't fit anything in my mind. [page 266 begins]

Q Father William Effinger has been mentioned. Do you recall Mrs. Cerniglia contacting you to report that her son was abused by Effinger?
A Yes, I do very well.

Q Do you recall telling her that it would be best if we, quote, "Keep this quiet"?
A I do not, and that worries me because I saw it in newspapers and she is the one who said to me on the phone if you take care and get Father Effinger out of here, we'll take care of the boys. That is the way in which it was said to me, and I make no effort whatsoever to tell her don't you report this to the police. I would not do that.

Q Do you recall in 1980 assigning Effinger to Holy Family in Sheboygan after the report?
A I do.

Q And not telling anybody in the parish?
A I do.

Q That, in fact, a report of molestation had been made against Effinger?
A I do remember that, and probably if there's any case that bothers me most, it was Effinger. It was my first case and how to handle it and it bothers me more than any others. Probably my pride was hurt because I was duped by Effinger more than by [page 267 begins] any others, since it was my first dealing with a priest pedophile of this sort. He was ultra, ultra conservative and hated my guts, and it was one of those where I probably humanly was reacting in a way that was not proper.

Q And it's true that Effinger was not removed from ministry by you until 1992?
A Yes.

Q Twelve years later?
A Yes, and we at that time did the usual kinds of things. I remember sending him away for alcohol assessment at Guest House and I remember writing or at least phoning to the director there saying that I was worried about his orientation toward youngsters, to check on this, to make sure that this was okay and because the two were often related, so that's about the kind of thing we did at that time.

Q Mention has been made of Father Peter Burns. Do you recall that in 1987 he admitted to Archdiocesan officials that he had abused a child?
A I thought that went to the police.

Q Maybe to the police.
A Yeah, it went to the police.

Q And then did the Archdiocese learn about it? [page 268 begins]
A I don't know how we learned about it, but that went through the courts and he was in prison.

Q Do you recall after that admission that he was allowed to act as a priest and that he had kids sleep at his rectory after that time?
A I don't -- I thought he left -- he went to prison right away. He pleaded guilty and was put in prison.

Q Father David Hanser, do you recall three brothers bringing accusations to the Archdiocese in 1988?
A Yes, I do.

Q And those accusations brought by them to the Archdiocese was not reported to the police, correct?
A I don't think they reported it to the police, although I can't be sure of that.

Q Were you aware that bishop Sklba told family members that Hanser would be removed and he wouldn't be allowed near children?
A Yes, at least that's what I told him to tell them.

Q And it's correct that Hanser worked at St. Joseph's Hospital in Milwaukee after that point?
A Yes. There were guidelines put down and St. Joseph's was informed of this. This was a difficult case for me because he had -- the Hanser [page 269 begins] family had money, so he had his own lawyer and he was not permitted by the lawyer to talk to us. It was a strange case that way. Whatever agreements the lawyer had made out on this, I don't know. I've never seen them.

Q So would it be fair to say that bishop Sklba misled this family into believing that he would be removed and not around children when, in fact, he was allowed to serve at St. Joseph's Hospital where he was around children?
A St. Joseph's Hospital certainly knew the problem and was supposed to be monitoring it.

Q Father James Godin was a priest at the Archdiocese?
A Yes.

Q And he was removed in 2002 after he admitted that he had abused a 17-year-old sometime in the '80s. Do you remember that?
A I do.

Q Do you recall that that inquiry came about as a result of the review of the files being done as a part of the charter?
A No.

Q What caused that review of the files then of 2002 or precipitated the removal of Godin -- is it Godin or Godin? [page 270 begins]
A Godin. Already I had the files gone over by Judge Leander Foley. He was a retired judge, and I'm not sure quite what year that was. That was earlier in the '90s, and so that would have been the first review of the files that we had of these cases.

Q Focusing on the Godin removal in 2002, what precipitated that, do you remember?
A No, I don't.

Q Michael Krejci, K-R-E-J-C-I, was a priest of the Archdiocese, correct?
A Yes.

Q And do you recall that he molested two teenagers in 1979?
A I wouldn't know the date of that.

Q Do you have recollection that he admitted to the then vicar for clergy in 1986 that he had?
A Yes.

Q And do you recall that that was not reported to civil authorities?
A Yes.

Q And do you recall that he after that report and admission was allowed to remain in ministry?
A It was a long story about the care because I recall that we did send him away several places and had him under care here of a psychiatrist at the [page 271 begins] Medical College, so there's a long story behind all of that.

Q Do you recall that it was -- it was reported again to the vicar in 1994 and at that time he was sent for counseling?
A That was a new case, is that what you're saying?

Q Probably the same events but it came back to the Archdiocese and said hey, we have more information on this guy?
A I don't remember any of that.

Q Do you recall that he was put back in ministry after that second report with restrictions in 1996?
A Yes.

Q Okay. Father Eugene Kreuzer, K-R-E-U-Z-E-R, is that pronounced correctly?
A Gene, yes.

Q Do you remember that he was a priest of the Archdiocese who admitted molesting a child to the then bishop in 1969; did you know that?
A I did not. This is the first I hear that.

Q Did you know that he was on a leave of absence for two years for counseling as a result of that?
A I did not.

Q Did you know that he was allowed back as a pastor in 1971 and stayed in ministry until 2002? [page 272 begins]
A Somewhere along the line before 2002 I found out about this, and I couldn't tell you the exact time, at which time I took away all of his faculties and he was not allowed to say mass or anything.

Q That was 2002?
A No, no, this was long before that.

Q How long before 2002?
A Well, I was bishop so it had to be before 2002. I don't know. Probably about 10 years before that.

Q Father Lawrence Murphy has been made mention of, but in the mid 1970s he was accused of molesting numerous students at St. John's School for Deaf. Did you become aware of that at some point in time after becoming Archbishop?
A Yes.

Q And then a civil suit was filed in 1975 against him and the Archdiocese. Do you remember that?
A Yes. I don't remember it, but I know it happened.

Q You know it to be. It appears he may have been moved to the Diocese in Superior and allowed to work with children at River Hills School, the detention facility for boys there. Do you know anything about that?
A I know nothing about that.

Q Father Richard Nichols, N-I-C-H-O-L-S, was a priest [page 273 begins] of the Archdiocese, correct?
A Yes.

Q And do you remember that in 1981 a letter to you was sent accusing Nichols of molesting children in the 1970s?
A I remember receiving a letter from, yes, a victim.

Q And do you remember at that time the Archdiocese offered counseling to the children but let Nichols remain in ministry until 1990 -- 1983?
A I remember that Nichols was a counselor, had an office. He had a degree in psychology or psychiatry or something, and he was in an office working with another counselor. I remember that, and I remember in addition to after these letters came in -- the letter came in from the victim, I remember a woman who brought a case against Nichols with the accrediting association for the state counselors on the basis of a tape that he had given her after a counseling session that she was to listen to it at home and --

Q But that didn't involve sexual abuse of minors, did it?
A Well, wait a minute. And then she turned it over on the other side and what she heard on the other side convinced her that it was sexual abuse of a [page 274 begins] minor that he had left on the tape.

Q I see.
A So she appealed that to the accrediting association for counselors and they did nothing, so I took him out. I took him out of ministry. I left him say mass for the sisters at a convent.

Q Actually, according to records that I have, Nichols was removed from ministry in 1983 shortly after another civil complaint was filed. Do you remember that?
A I don't.

Q Father Thomas Trepanier has been referred to in documents, but do you have a recollection that allegations of sexual abuse at some point were made against him?
A I know there was one allegation brought against him, and I can't -- as I recall, the person was handicapped or something. There was something there.

Q And when would that have been, Archbishop?
A I can't give you a date on all of these.

Q Do you recall that after the -- after the complaint or allegation was made, that he was allowed to remain in ministry until 2002?
A I'm not sure what -- how we handled that case. I [page 275 begins] would have to take all the files and look at it.

Q And Jerome Wagner has been made mention of earlier?
A Right.

Q But do you recall that Father Wagner -- in 1985 a mother confronted him about molesting her 15-year-old son and she went to the police with that, do you remember that?
A Yes.

Q And Wagner after that remained in a parish for eight months, did he not?
A I don't know. I know he was moved up to -- I don't know how long that took on the part of the police.

Q Do you recall that the Archdiocese and you then as Archbishop then moved Wagner to a new parish and said he would have no further contact with youth?
A Yes.

Q In any of these instances where I've asked you about these offending priests and reports made, did you as the Archbishop or anybody at your direction go back to the parishes or the assignments where any of these priests served and make a full or any disclosure to the parishioners that the Archdiocese had known about any of these people in the past?
A No.

Q Archbishop, there has been -- Exhibit 410 is the [page 276 begins] list, I believe, of the priests against whom credible allegations had been made where it was made public as a result of the charter in 2002, and these, I think, are 43 in number, and I don't want to take the time to walk you through it, so I'm not going to, but what I'm going to ask you is in connection with any of these 43 priests or for that matter any priest of the Archdiocese while you served as Archbishop, let's -- let me restrict it to these priests, these are all priests against whom allegations have been made that have been found to be substantiated by the Diocese, correct?
A Yes.

Q In any of these instances do you have any knowledge of the Archdiocese having disclosed the history that the Archdiocese knew of molestation concerning any of these priests to the parishioners where the priests served?
A Not to my knowledge as such, except that there was the general admonition to people to call in if they knew of anybody who had been abused. That went to every parish, and I think one of the reasons is if you look at that number and you look at all the parishes that they were in, it's like covering the whole Diocese. [page 277 begins]

Q And a number of files have been made public by my office that we got as a result of cases in California and elsewhere concerning the Archdiocese, and I've made those files public when I got them. Do you know has the Archdiocese ever made any effort to make any of those files public as I have?
A I can't answer that.

Q Archbishop, we have information on two occasions the Archdiocese after civil cases were dismissed on Statute of Limitations and other grounds taxed costs against the victims. Do you have any knowledge of that and did you direct that that be done?
A No, that was a tif between the Diocesan lawyer, your predecessor, and the lawyer for some plaintiffs. Apparently it was a slip-up where we had always picked up the cost but the lawyer forgot to put that on, so it was a clerical error on the part of the lawyers, who usually don't make mistakes.

Q In your tenure with the Archdiocese, has there been a shortage of priests?
A Yes.

Q And do you think that that accounts in part for [page 278 begins] allowing so many of these offenders to continue in ministry because of the shortage?
A I would say no. I would say no. I think it was a different question, and that was how to deal with the priests and how to deal with predators, the amount of risks involved, the whole question of recidivism.

Q At some point, Archbishop, there was a lot of publicity about a Mr. Marcoux and a settlement made between the Archdiocese and Mr. Marcoux, correct?
A Marcoux.

Q Excuse me. Marcoux. I'm sorry. In that instance $450,000 was paid to him by the Archdiocese?
A Yes.

Q And that was done at your direction?
A Yes.

Q Why was that sum of money paid to him?
A He had brought -- or had -- was bringing a lawsuit against the Diocese complaining about an incident from 1979 which he was claiming, as he called it, date rape on my part, and that's the way in which it was presented. Actually, the brief when you read it states that -- the brief states that I had interfered in his ability to -- his livelihood because of that incident of '79. That's what the [page 279 begins] lawsuit was all about.

Q Okay.
A And counsel had advised that since it involved -- would have involved depositions all over Europe, et cetera, that the cost of trying a case like that would have been as much as the 450,000.

Q Was it also a concern about damage to the reputation of the church and to you as the ordinary?
A Well, I'm sure that that's a part of anything of this sort, but that wasn't a main reason at that time.

Q In the settlement agreement at paragraph seven, there's a condition and a requirement that Mr. Marcoux agree not to publish or to disclose to anybody the terms of the settlement or the amounts paid, wasn't there?
A I understood that, yes. I didn't read that exactly, but I understood that was what the lawyers had agreed on.

Q That's a copy of the settlement agreement that we took off of bishop Accountability. [See Exhibit 413.] Paragraph seven of it refers to that. Does that refresh your recollection that there's a confidentiality provision in it? [page 280 begins]
A Yes.

Q Okay. At some point in time as a result of this suit that was threatened or brought, did you or anybody at your direction threaten to sue Mr. Marcoux for disclosing this information?
A No.

Q Were any threats ever made against him by you or anybody at your direction?
A No.

Q Were any threats of criminal charges ever made -- excuse me -- did you ever threaten to bring criminal charges against him?
A In 1979 I had a personal lawyer look at the letters he was writing me, and the lawyer said that it was a case of extortion, so I went to the DA, and the DA said I had a choice of bringing charges, in which case it would be a file in the DA's office or I could just let it go, so I --

Q Was that DA Mike McCann?
A Yes, it was.

Q And he gave you the choice, you could bring charges against Marcoux -- Marcoux? I'm sorry.
A Marcoux.

Q Marcoux.
A And I didn't. [page 281 begins]

Q When did you meet with McCann on that and McCann gave you the choice of bringing that charge against him?
A That would have been sometime in 1980.

Q Okay. I'm reading from an affidavit filed by Brent Tyler. Did you tell McCann why you -- what your grievance was against Marcoux?
A I showed him the same material that file had seen.

Q Did McCann tell you what Marcoux had done or what you claimed he had done was not a crime?
A What's -- I do not get the question.

Q Just a minute. Did you discuss with Mike McCann what Marcoux had claimed you had done?
A Yes.

Q And did McCann at that time tell you that it was not a crime?
MR. SHRINER: What was not a crime, what he had done?

MR. ANDERSON: What you had done to Marcoux.
THE WITNESS: Neither my personal lawyer nor Mike McCann ever talked about that.

Q He gave you the impression that he would bring charges, however, if you chose to have charges [page 282 begins] brought?
A No. We're on two different wavelengths here.

MR. SHRINER: Mr. Anderson, do you want him to clarify his answer?

Q I think I just -- why don't you tell me what the conversation with McCann was then.
A I had gone to a private lawyer, who said that the letters that Marcoux and his demands were extortion. I had gone to Mike McCann, who agreed, and said I could bring a case against Marcoux for extortion if I wanted, but I decided not to.

Q And if you believe this to be -- have been extortion by him, why did you direct that $450,000 be paid to him?
A There's a sequence here. In '98 Marcoux -- 1998, yes, Marcoux resurfaced and wanted to sell me back the letter I had written him in 1980 for $1 million, at which point I said no, and then after that, some months after that in '97 or '98, early '98, came a brief about what I spoke about earlier, about the question that had arisen of the -- of him not being able to make a livelihood, et cetera, because of whatever I was doing.

Q Did you have communicated to Mr. Marcoux through [page 283 begins] lawyers or otherwise that if he brought civil proceedings against you and the Archdiocese, that he would be charged with the crime of extortion by McCann?
A I never said that, no.

Q Do you know if any of your representatives did make that representation?
A I cannot answer that.

Q Earlier, Archbishop, I think you had been -- I'm going to mark this exhibit here.

MR. SHRINER: The last one was 413.

MR. ANDERSON: I'm going to mark this one Exhibit 414.

Q This is an article that appeared in the New York Times June 1st, 2002, and I think you had told me earlier that you had over the years garnered some sensitivity for the suffering that victims of abuse by clergy have suffered spiritually and otherwise?
A Yes.

Q And it's fair to say that you've always kind of felt some of that pain?
A Yes, I can say that, yes.

Q In this article here you're quoted here, and I'd like to ask you about a few things here. Is this written by you? [page 284 begins]
A Yes.

Q Okay. And at the second paragraph, it says -- why did you write this?
A On August 23rd, 2002 -- not August, May 23rd, Paul Marcoux was on TV. It was Good Morning America, I think, and which he mentioned about the settlement and also about the fact that what he called date rape that had taken place in '79. I had already resigned as Archbishop, but they had not accepted it and put it into practice, so that happened immediately. I waited a week to think and pray and decide what to do, and then we had a penitential right in the chapel at Cousins Center in which I read this apology.

Q Okay. And at the second paragraph, the second sentence says -- you write, "I know and I'm sure you do, too, that the church to be authentic must be a community that heals." Those were your words?
A Yes.

Q Then you write, "But I also know that you do, too, that there is no healing unless it is based on truth." Do you believe that?
A I do.

Q Don't you think that the many survivors or victims [page 285 begins] of abuse by these many priests who have suffered in the past and no doubt continue to suffer could benefit in their healing if the Archdiocese of Milwaukee came clean with its files and its knowledge of these offenders?
A That's out of my hands now, so I can't answer that. I think the present Archbishop has tried his best to do this.

Q But truth can aid in healing and reconciliation, can't it?
A Yes, it can.

Q The next paragraph you write --

MR. ANDERSON: Okay. Archbishop, thank you.

THE WITNESS: Thank you.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: I'd like to take a short break. I do have some questions.

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We are off the record at 10:16 a.m.

(Recess taken.)

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: And we are back on the record at 10:25 a.m.

Q Good Morning, Archbishop Weakland. [page 286 begins]
A Good Morning, John.

Q It's now Friday and you've been deposed both yesterday and today, and I'm not going to go over all these points, but there are a few things that I thought would be useful and helpful to have you give some information about. We've already talked about Deacon -- it's not McGuire?
A McGuine.

Q McGuine, and he was the individual who is the past police officer who served and assisted the Archdiocese?
A Right.

Q And he was during the 1990 time frame?
A Yes.

Q All right. And his specific role was what?
A He'd be the equivalent of a kind of probation officer --

Q And --
A -- in these cases.

Q And this was an attempt by you to find a third way to do something about priests who had accusations or confirmed incidences of abuse?
A Yes.

Q All right. You also mentioned just briefly Leander Foley. Would you just describe for the record who [page 287 begins] is Leander Foley and what did he do for you?
A He was a retired judge, and I was worried about the fact that this was all inhouse, if you will, and it would be good to have an outsider look at the way we were handling all of these cases, so I gave him all the files of anyone who had been accused of sexual abuse who was still somewhere functioning in some capacity.

Q And what rough time frame are we talking about?
A Again we're in the early '90s.

Q All right. And Leander Foley, for those who don't know, he used to be a circuit court judge here in the County of Milwaukee?
A Yes.

Q And by circuit court so he's another -- in other words, he's an elected state court judge here in the county?
A He was.

Q Thank you. And in terms of the files that he saw, what were the files that he was provided and the goal?
A He was provided with all the files of those that we knew about at that point where there were substantiated accusations against a priest.

Q All right. Now, Archbishop, you also mentioned and [page 288 begins] the phrase came up Project Benjamin. That was another program?
A So many things happened after 1985 in the discussion among the bishops. Project Benjamin started in 1989. Benjamin was the youngest brother of -- in the Old Testament and the one that -- so it -- he was the beloved of his father, et cetera. That's why we called it Project Benjamin, and so we felt we needed help on a broad basis of people, so Project Benjamin had on it psychiatrists who dealt with one aspect of the problem. It had especially women who had been dealing with things like domestic abuse and had a feel for how these were being treated, people from the probation officers of the city. It was a group of laypeople from the City of Milwaukee predominantly who could be of help to us and especially in trying to help the victims. One of their first recommendations was that not only the hotline but also then that we hire someone to do this work almost full-time.

Q At the time that -- let me start over. You were the one who were instigated and was behind the creation of Project Benjamin?
A Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

Q And, Archbishop, do you yourself have any [page 289 begins] background in psychology and training of that nature?
A I've had courses like everybody in college, but that doesn't make you -- in fact, I have often been told I should never go into psychology.

Q You weren't asked that. You were asked just about some of your religious background. Could you give us some of your educational background?
A Oh, my. I did my high school and college at Saint Vincent in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and then I went to Rome to do my theology and then came back and went to Juilliard where I did a degree in piano. Then at Columbia University for a degree in music history, then got a grant from them, which took me back to Europe in '56, '57. I came back and taught music and was chairman of the department at Saint Vincent College with a fellowship at both Princeton and Yale where I would read for them dissertations on mid evil music. I was a world expert because I wrote one article, so I mean it's not a field that has much competition, and that -- the thesis at Columbia I had not finished when I was elected the abbot of the monastery, so at 36 I finished it, though, and got the degree in the year 2000, so I'm proud of the one earned degree, and [page 290 begins] after that I was in administration.

Q And your earned degree, what's the level of the degree in music you have now?
A Ph.D.

Q So --
A History.

Q So in terms of your education, your greatest focus has been theology and music?
A I guess that's true.

Q When you got behind the idea and pushing forward on Project Benjamin, was there any other program in the nation to serve as a prototype that you could use?
A I don't know of any out there at the time. I'm sure some bishops were trying to get ahold of this. The only thing I can think about was -- and I'm not sure of the dates on this -- when Archbishop Bernadine [sic; transcription should read Bernardin] started his lay board, and I'm not sure how the dates coincide on that.

MR. SHRINER: In Chicago?
THE WITNESS: In Chicago.

Q All right.
A I also joined about that time -- about that time I brought in a psychotherapist from Madison to give a [page 291 begins] talk to all of my staff on this whole issue and to get updated on the terminology and how to proceed, and this was Lloyd Sinclair. Lloyd Sinclair was well known for dealing with the whole issue of what had -- was beginning to be called sexual addictions. Up until then I don't think the word was used very much. After that he organized a group called sex offenders, therapists, something or other. It was one of those horrible titles, and on that group was the head of all the prisons of the State of Wisconsin and then all kinds of therapists who worked for that system, plus other people who would be brought in to be a part of it.

So he asked me to join that group and I went to those meetings religiously, if I can use that word, for a good six years or so to try to find out and keep abreast of how the prison system was dealing with this problem and what kinds of things they were using and where their therapists were and how enormous that problem was.

Q So this was a group of professionals, psychologists?
A Yes.

Q You're not one of them, of course?
A No. [page 292 begins]

Q Would it be fair to say what you were doing was trying to educate yourself and get some information to deal with the problems you had to deal with?
A That is true. I hope I contributed something, but it was not --

Q And in terms of the time frames, was it during Project Benjamin, 1989 and forward?
A This would have been during, in the '90s.

Q All right. Now, you didn't stop just -- let me start over. Project Benjamin had a number of people, you mentioned the different disciplines, but there was some full-time folks, too, right?
A Certainly Liz Piasecki was full-time.

Q She was a trained psychologist?
A Yes. Yes.

Q And then also Barb Reinke, R-E-I-N-K-E?
A She succeeded or occasionally I think Liz would send people to Barbara Reinke.

Q Now, that was 1989 and Project Benjamin continued all through the 1990s, did it not?
A It still exists.

Q Thank you. In year 2002, however, you took an additional step, as I understand, you commissioned another outside study?
A I did. That commission was called the Eisenberg [page 293 begins] Commission from Howard Eisenberg, who was the dean of the law school in Marquette, and so the members of that -- that was a smaller group of highly qualified people. It was -- also on that group were several therapists who were highly qualified, not all Catholic. Eisenberg was Jewish. One of the members of that group was an Episcopal priest who was a rather famous therapist, so I gave them all the files and they had copies of these and could make then suggestions on how we should handle all of this.

Q All right. Archbishop Weakland, as some of the other people may not know about who Dean Eisenberg was, I copied off just a statement from the Marquette Law School website about Dean Eisenberg [see Exhibit 1000] and just see if you can confirm -- at the time now, you appointed him in 2002, the Eisenberg Commission?
A Yes.

Q And at that time he was the dean of the Marquette Law School here in town?
A Yes.

Q And according to this, from 1972 to 1978 he served as the chief state public defender for the State of Wisconsin and he also wrote the State Public [page 294 begins] Defender Statute. Further, he left in 1978 to become the executive director of the national Aid & Defender Association in Washington, D.C. Then he became the professor and director of clinical education at Southern Illinois University and then became dean and professor of law at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock until he joined the Marquette faculty in 1995.

It also reports that the individual here on this commission, he's argued more than 400 -- or 300 -- pardon me -- of appellate cases, state and federal, including United States Supreme Court and won awards from the governor of Illinois for in work of combatting elderly abuse, as well as the outstanding court appointed lawyer in the federal circuit down in Chicago. He was also given a special committee accommodation by the governor of Wisconsin and he taught criminal law, criminal procedure, professional responsibility and appellate advocacy at Marquette, so this is the individual that you asked to head up this commission?
A Yes.

Q In 2002, what was it that you wanted Dean Eisenberg to review and to address for you? [page 295 begins]
A I'd say the main question on the docket at the time that I was mulling over was do I name -- put all these names out public, do we make the list of all of those with the background of each one, so that was the -- that had been on the docket for a long time before we made that decision, and so after they had met and looked at all the -- their first recommendation was, first of all, that we bring all the documentation together because it was all over the place and you can all thank that commission for the fact that you could put together so many different things from the Archdiocese. There was the vicar's file, there was the chancery files, there was the files in Project Benjamin's office. You can see this here, some from the Personnel Board office. All of that was brought together with the logs, and that was their first suggestion, so that they could look at it more carefully. The second suggestion was that I do make -- or did make -- should make public all of the names and where the priests were, so that happened.

Q All right. You mentioned the people who was on this commission, and as I understand it, the commission was actually called the Special Commission to Study Allegations of Sexual Abuse by [page 296 begins] Priests in the Milwaukee Archdiocese.
A Is that the official name?

Q Yeah.
A It's as bad as the one --

Q I understand that on the commission Dean Eisenberg from Marquette University headed it up; is that right?
A Yes, true.

Q There was another individual on that, Sister Mary Howard Johnstone, Sinsinawa Dominican nun?
A Right. She had been an assistant DA for child cases.

Q So she was a lawyer besides being a nun?
A Yes.

Q And she practiced here in the District Attorney's Office here in Milwaukee County?
A Exactly. Could I just add the word accommodation. When the Effinger cases broke up in 1992 in Sheboygan, she came up and she conducted the town hall meeting, and I'm forever grateful to her because in an explosive situation like that, she had all the poise and the ability to bring it out and so it was great. She was an extremely good professional.

Q You had another -- a Reverend Donald Hands. [page 297 begins]
A He is the Episcopal priest.

Q And he was not only a priest but he was a psychologist at the Milwaukee Secured Detention Center?
A Yes.

Q So he had experience on sexual abuse?
A Yes. Yes.

Q And I understand that he is actually the clinical director at St. Barnabas Center, an Episcopalian institution, from '87 to '93?
A Yes.

Q And so his experience was that treated religious professionals for various problems?
A Yes.

Q All right. But he was of the Episcopalian faith?
A Yes.

Q There was another, there was somebody from the Medical College of Wisconsin, Art Derse, D-E-R-S-E?
A Art Derse, yes. Art was in charge at the Medical College of the Board of Ethics.

Q Okay.
A Well known in the community.

Q And the last member of this special commission that you had directed was an Anthony Kuchan, K-U-C-H-A-N. Who was he? [page 298 begins]
A He was a professor of psychology at Marquette University.

Q I understand he was actually the chair of the university's psychology department.
A Okay.

Q And these were the individuals then who took this assignment to look at the Archdiocesan policies?
A Yes.

Q All right. Now, we know, some may not, but Dean Eisenberg -- let me start over and maybe we can set the table here. As I recollect is your reference of these matters and request for help for this commission that you asked the dean to create for you, that was in March of 2002; does that square?
A That's correct.

Q But Dean Eisenberg then unfortunately passed away at a very early age like in July of that year?
A Yes, he did.

Q But before he died, he did issue a preliminary report to you?
A Yes, he did.
Q Archbishop, I'll show you what we've marked as Exhibit No. 1001, and I'll ask you is this the preliminary report that Dean Eisenberg was able to issue with his other commission members? [page 299 begins]

A Yes.
Q And as I understand on the first page, the three official things that you had asked the commission to deal with were one, observations of the current policies followed by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in cases in which allegations have been made of sexual abuse by Diocesan priests and any recommendations we might have for improving these procedures. That was one thing you wanted?
A Yes.

Q The second was recommendations for the placement of six priests now active -- excuse me -- now in active ministry against whom credible allegations of sexual abuse of children have been made and whether information regarding those six cases should be made public and if so, what information should be released to the public?
A Yes.

Q And the third item that you had asked for their assistance was whether the Archdiocese should adopt a zero tolerance policy where priests credibly accused of sexual abuse of children are permanently removed from the ministry?
A Yes.

Q Now, just -- we've talked about this and Attorney [page 300 begins] Anderson talked about this. There is -- unrelated to what you asked this special commission to do and unrelated to Project Benjamin, which goes back to 1999, the Conference of Bishops created a charter for the protection of children and young people?
A That was after I had resigned. That was in Dallas in the spring meeting.

Q And that's what I wanted to set up, is that what you were doing here is in advance of what nationwide was doing, what you were doing here was in advance?
A This was already done.

Q All right. Archbishop, in connection with the six cases, you see that the second one on the first page --
A Yes, I do.

Q -- you actually referred and you wanted their specific advice on those six cases?
A Yes.

Q Because those were priests where you believed there were allegations of abuse against a priest and they were in some manner still active in the ministry?
A Yes. Yes.

Q And you were looking for help?
A Yes. [page 301 begins]

Q Okay. I'm sort of jumping ahead, but since they then became publicized -- well, we can -- the important part is this. Attorney Anderson had asked you about Franklyn Becker. Was Franklyn Becker one of those six?
A Yes.

Q Okay. I'd like you to go to page three, and it's item six, it says, "Adjudicating cases not resolved by civil authorities." Do you see that?
A Yes.

Q And I'll just read here so I can ask you. It reads, "In most cases we reviewed, the matter was referred to the appropriate district attorney or law enforcement agency for investigation or prosecution." Let me stop you there. Archbishop Weakland, when the six matters -- these six specific matters were referred to the Eisenberg Commission, did you send over -- were the files of these six sent to the commission?
A Yes.

Q Okay. So the various files that -- whatever the Archdiocese had, it was your intent that the commission get those?
A Yes.

Q And so far as you know, that's what the commission [page 302 begins] had?
A Yes, they did.

Q Okay. I'll continue. "In most cases the matter was not pursued either because the Statute of Limitations had expired or because the case presented other legal difficulties, including the lack of adequate proof. For that reason, in none of the six cases we reviewed has there been a final determination of the truth of the allegations. In at least one case the priest vehemently denied most, if not all, of the allegations. We believe that it is necessary and appropriate for the Archdiocese to develop an internal adjudicatory process for determining the facts in cases which are not pursued to a final determination of guilt or lack of guilt by civil authorities. In such cases, independent and impartial adjudicators should be retained to assist the Archdiocese in such fact findings. Such internal adjudications should occur only after criminal investigation or prosecution has ended." Now, I read that accurately?
A Yes.

Q And at least as you read this, what was your understanding as what Dean Eisenberg from the law [page 303 begins] school and the other experts were recommending to you?
A That we have our own investigation, not just the one that would be supplied by the district attorney or -- and cases from the past that were beyond the Statute of Limitations but which we felt the person should not be assigned, so these -- this question of getting our own was, I think, important and we did get help to find the right person to do this. It's amazing how many retired people who retire early have that -- have things to do -- can do this well.

Q And let's set the stage. Project Benjamin had been in effect for, by that time, about 12 years?
A Yes.

Q And as part of Project Benjamin, there already was set up an internal investigative procedure as best that could be done of allegations that came in?
A Yes, but not adequate.

Q Okay. What --
A Not professionally adequate.

Q One thing that was recommended here is you actually get adjudicatory some person to make a decision was this guilt or was this not guilt?
A Yes. [page 304 begins]

Q And -- okay. We'll come back to that. So that was one of the recommendations made to you by the Eisenberg Commission?
A Right, right, and followed through.

Q And actually, maybe paragraph seven on the same page carries this forward. The seventh point by the Eisenberg Commission reads, "All cases involving allegations of sexual misconduct by priests should have ultimate factual determinations made of whether those allegations are true." I've read that accurately?
A Yes.

Q And then the actual recommendation is, "In none of the cases we reviewed was there a formal determination that allegations of sexual abuse were true and if true, what exactly occurred and when. We think it advisable that in every case in which allegations of sexual abuse are made that there be a determination of what occurred."
A Yes.

Q Okay. Now, if we could go to page four and so we have this correctly set, the comments that I had just highlighted and read to you, those are the general comments for the general procedures in which the Archdiocese tried to address sexual abuse [page 305 begins] claims?
A Yes.

Q Now, on page four, the commission of these experts are going to give you their thoughts on the six specific cases you had asked them to look at?
A Yes.

Q And these six specific cases are -- these are priests who were still in ministry of some sort and you wanted them to look at for their advice?
A Yes.

Q All right. And one of these, of course, is Franklyn Becker?
A Yes.

Q All right. Now, I'd like to just go over those. For those items, the first order of business is number 10. It reads, "The identities of victims and the files should themselves -- or should remain confidential," right?
A (Witness nods head.)

Q And the advice further was in 2002 now, "Although no one has suggested that the identity of victims be made public, we simply state the obvious, that utmost concern for protecting the identities of the victims should continue to be shown." Let me stop you there. Was it always a practice and policy of [page 306 begins] the Archdiocese to protect the identity of victims?
A As far as I know, yes.

Q All right. The recommendations go on, "It is important that if the victim wishes his or her identity to remain confidential, those wishes should be respected."
A Yes.

Q "As for the files themselves, we see no purpose to be served by making them public. These files contain a range of materials from the priests' seminary grades to detailed psychological evaluations of the priests and a range of communications relating to the priests, some of which are of dubious reliability." This is again information that the experts are giving back to you of not only the victims' identity but the files themselves?
A Yes.

Q All right. Number 11, I think you referred to this, this is their next recommendation. "As soon as possible, the Archdiocese should make public generic information regarding the allegations made against the six priests," right?
A Yes.

Q And that's reinforced with 12 about -- on the next [page 307 begins] page, they suggest by September 1st that the identities of the six priests should be disclosed?
A Yes.

Q All right. And then number 13, their final recommendation on the six -- the six individuals, including -- which includes Franklyn Becker here is what their recommendations in 2002 to you were, 13, "Additional testing and review is necessary to determine whether the six priests should remain in active ministry," that's the heading?
A Yes.

Q And then it reads, "There remains the question of whether these six priests should remain in active ministry. We are not prepared to make a recommendation on this issue at the present time. We are submitting to you a separate report prepared by commission member Dr. Donald Hands, who analyzed these six cases using accepted clinical instruments which seek to evaluate the likelihood of future sexual misconduct. In three cases he has recommended additional testing of the individual priests, and in the other three cases he concluded there was a low risk of future misconduct. Nevertheless, we are not prepared at this time to make a recommendation regarding any of the six [page 308 begins] priests against whom allegations had been made. We will submit such recommendation to you or your successor before September 1, 2002." That's what it reads?
A Yeah.

Q And in terms of your -- when you reviewed this, what was your reaction and takeaway from that?
A I think they had some questions about three of them that required more sustained and professional assessment, and I must confess that having looked at so many of these responses that you get from clinicians, that the word low risk bothers me as much as high risk.

Q All right. Thank you. Lastly, the third item you had asked the Eisenberg Commission to look at was the zero tolerance policy, and could you just put on the record when you say zero tolerance, maybe everyone knows today what that is but at the time what was the subject being discussed?
A At the time it meant that only one substantiated allegation had been brought forward.

Q Okay.
A So that was zero tolerance.

Q And at this time in terms of the Archdiocese versus the rest of the United States, were there other -- [page 309 begins] I mean was this a standard practice in other Diocese of zero tolerance?
A It was hotly debated among the Canonists and the priests. I was under the impression, and I say this as an impression, that if you presented a case to Rome where there was only one allegation, they probably would not have dismissed the priest from priesthood. That's my -- that was my understanding of it at the time, and I could see the point. The one case that we cited earlier where you have one substantiated accusation, a boy 17, do you take the man out of priesthood then, that's the question that was raised. That's what the zero tolerance. I on the floor of the bishops, I think, had said was in favor of zero tolerance for the future so priests would know that. For the past I'm not so sure one should apply a rule of this sort.

Q Okay. Now, Archbishop, you were 75 in 2002?
A Yes.

Q And it is standard church policy that at age 75 bishops or archbishops are to tender their resignation?
A Yes.

Q All right. And you did that, of course?
A I did that. [page 310 begins]

Q And you retired in 2002?
A Yes.

Q The final report by the Eisenberg Commission was issued ultimately?
A I don't know.

Q Okay.
A I think it was.

Q Good.
A But he passed away so I'm not sure what happened after that.
Q And very good. And just if you know, I'll show you what we'll mark as, I guess, Exhibit No. 1002, and I guess to set the stage for this is that as you can see, is that the report by Dean Eisenberg, the preliminary report that we just went through, that was April 26th, and I'm showing to you now Exhibit 1002, and this is an article published publicly by the Catholic Harald on September 19th, 2002, if you can see it up here?
A Yes.

Q All right. First of all, if you go to page -- the second page of this, at the very bottom it says, "In April when the commission's preliminary report was issued, it was recommended that the Archdiocese disclose the six names." Do you see that? [page 311 begins]
A Yes.

Q And now pursuant to that, there are six names there?
A Yes.

Q And are these the -- are these the six that you had submitted to the commission?
A Yes.

Q And are these the ones that the commission had recommended be made public?
A Yes.

Q And so obviously the Herald is publicizing them and they are Franklyn Becker, Dr. David J. -- Father David J. -- it must be Hanser?
A Hanser.

Q And I can't pronounce the next one.
A Michael Krecji.

Q Michael Krecji, Daniel Massie?
A Yes.

Q Thomas Trepanier and Father Jerome Wagner?
A Yes.

Q All right. Furthermore, on the next page, page -- the third page of this, they also confirm that two additional priests have stepped down because of allegations, Father James Godin and Father James Jablonowski? [page 312 begins]
A Jablonowski.

Q Jablonowski. Thank you. So you were not obviously the Archbishop at the time that this occurred?
A No.

Q But this is consistent with what the Eisenberg recommendations had been?
A Yes.

Q Also, Archbishop, are you familiar with the name of Judge John Fiorenza?
A Yes.

Q Who is Judge John Fiorenza?
A Earlier we talked about doing -- having somebody to do our own internal investigation, and I believe he was one of those who was hired for specific cases to do that for us.

Q So in other words, not just investigative but to be adjudicatory where he would actually judge whether guilt or nonguilt?
A At least whether the allegations, I think, were to be accepted as genuine or not.

Q And I'm calling on your memory, Archbishop. We saw the Eisenberg report and that was in April of 2002. Do you recollect that that was carried out and Judge Fiorenza was given that position or placed in that position within 2002? [page 313 begins]
A I do remember that, yes.

Q All right. Now, Archbishop, also we've talked about Project Benjamin from '89 and the work that that did, the Eisenberg Commission. You did other things beyond that also with respect to sexual abuse before you left?
A It certainly took a lot of time, yes.

Q One thing is -- I think we're on Exhibit 1004. Exhibit 1004, Archbishop, I was able to get off of the Archdiocesan website, and it talks about listening sessions, May 16th and May 10th. Do you see that?
A Yes, I do.

Q Do you recollect that there were listening sessions after you got back the report or the preliminary report by Dean Eisenberg?
A Yes, I do.

Q They report that they were to be held at St. Eugene Parish, and could you describe where that is?
A They were held all over the Diocese, and St. Eugene's is Port Washington in the north, St. Gregory is on the south side, holy Angels is West Bend on the north, John the Baptist in Plymouth is in the Fond du Lac area. John Vianney in Brookfield would be west and then Burlington on [page 314 begins] the south.

Q So these are all different areas of the greater Archdiocese?
A Yes.

Q All right. Plymouth probably being the furthest to the north, maybe 60 miles away?
A Yes.

Q And to the south we have Burlington, which is actually southwest probably about 35, 40 miles?
A Yes, a little north of Delavan.

Q Yes. And obviously these are all held on the same night. Did you attend any of these yourself?
A I attended St. John Vianney.

Q And what was the purpose of the listening sessions?
A The purpose of the listening sessions, as I recall, was to repeat a summary of the Eisenberg Commission, what they had come up with, how we were proceeding and to answer any questions that may have arisen.

Q All right. And I see that on Exhibit 1004 the materials that were available was A, the summary of the report by the special commission; in other words, the Dean Eisenberg Commission?
A Yes.

Q And also questions and answers regarding sexual [page 315 begins] abuse of minors by priests was made available for the talking sessions, too?
A Yes.

Q Were these well attended?
A Yes.

Q Describe -- you were at St. John Vianney?
A Yes.

Q Could you describe that for us?
A St. John Vianney, there was a panel to do all of this from the Project Benjamin and the Eisenberg Commission and so on, but it was very, very difficult to keep any order. There was an enormous number of angry people, and it was not an easy evening.

Q All right. And lastly, I think we've marked this but I'll complete this and then I'm done and we'll be very brief. Exhibit 1005, another recommendation had been the publication not only of six but of other abusers' names, too?
A Yes.

Q Now, Exhibit 1005 is obviously the Archdiocesan listing of all the names of Archdiocesan priests with substantiated claims?
A Yes.

Q And some questions were given to you about the [page 316 begins] charter, but under the charter it's not required for each Diocese to disclose names, that's up to the Diocese?
A Yes.

Q But Milwaukee has chosen to disclose names?
A Yes.

Q That's been a voluntary thing?
A Yes.

Q And lastly, the names of the disclosures -- now, Project Benjamin goes to '89, Dean Eisenberg and the work you did is 2002. The names of all of the Archdiocesan individuals who Attorney Anderson asked you about, they've all been available for nearly four years now?
A The names.

Q Yes.
A Yes.

Q Thank you. That's all -- wait, I have one more. I guess I've been asked these matters and I think they're more than important. Archbishop, you were asked about various events and priests from 1970 onwards. In connection with those priests, did you retain what you thought were psychological experts to give you advice as to the priests' treatment and care? [page 317 begins]
A Every one, I think, was sent to somebody for care and in a way in the earlier cases, this was very unusual for a Catholic to go to a psychiatrist or psychologist for treatment. It was not a common thing to do.

Q And the advice that they gave you, did you value their advice and take it into consideration?
A Always. Part of the difficulty at the beginning was to get a therapist who was willing to work with you, so many therapists had the idea, and I understand this, that it was all confidential between them and the priest, and they would come to you then with the solution, as it were, but without involving the Diocese. That was the tricky part about any kind of counseling and probably still is.

Q And in terms of -- again, we're going back in time -- the 1970s and '80s, did the experts advise you that with treatment or proper placement there would still be places for which they could be placed in ministry?
A Most of the psychologists held that opinion, yes and, in fact, most of them felt it was better to do that than to force them on the street, force them out or have them just sit around.

MR. ROTHSTEIN: That's all I have. Thank [page 318 begins] you very much, Archbishop.

THE WITNESS: Thank you.

MR. ANDERSON: Just a few questions.

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: Counsel, we are going to run out in about a minute.

MR. ANDERSON: Let's switch tapes and I'll ask the questions. Let's do it quickly, though.

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We are off the record at 11:08 a.m. This is the end of disk number one, volume two, of the deposition of Rembert Weakland.

(Discussion off the record.)

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: We are back on the record at 11:10 a.m. This is the beginning of disk number two, volume two, in the deposition of Archbishop Weakland.

Q Archbishop Weakland, in the instance of Deacon McGuire --
A McGuine.

Q McGuine, Leander Foley, Project Benjamin and the Eisenberg Commission and all the other things that you testified to on examination just now, in any of those instances did the Archdiocese make known to [page 319 begins] the public and the parishes where these offenders served the known history of molestation of these priests?
A I can't answer that because I don't know what my successor did.

Q Okay. In any case, you didn't do it?
A I didn't do it.

Q Okay. In the case of Project Benjamin in '89, there was a protocol that required laypeople -- reports of abuse suspected against laypeople to be reported to police. Do you recall that for Project Benjamin?
A Would you give it to me again?

MR. SHRINER: By laypeople, you mean abuse by laypeople?


Q Let me just ask you this. The people that worked for Project Benjamin, were they required to report any information they received concerning suspicions of sexual abuse by clergy?
A Report to --

Q Civil authorities, law enforcement and prosecutors.
A I don't think the question ever came up. It was never discussed by them. [page 320 begins]

Q It's clear that these names of offenders have been made available publicly. Do you have any information that the files in connection with any of these offenders have ever been released to the public at any time?
A I can't answer that because my successor was in charge.

MR. ANDERSON: That's all I have. Thanks, Archbishop.

THE WITNESS: Thank you.

THE VIDEOGRAPHER: This concludes the deposition of Archbishop Weakland. This is the end of disk number three, volume two. We are off the record at 11:13 a.m.

(Proceedings concluded on June 6, 2008, at 11:13 a.m.) [page 321 begins]

  )   SS:

I, MELISSA J. STARK, a Certified Realtime Reporter, Registered Professional Reporter and Notary Public in and for the State of Wisconsin, do hereby certify that the above deposition of Archbishop REMBERT G. WEAKLAND, was recorded by me on June 5 and June 6, 2008, and reduced to writing under my personal direction.

I further certify that I am not a relative or employee or attorney or counsel of any of the parties, or a relative or employee of such attorney or counsel, or financially interested directly or indirectly in this action.

In witness whereof I have hereunder set my hand and affixed my seal of office at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this 16th day of June, 2008.


Notary Public
In and for the State of Wisconsin


My Commission Expires: February 27, 2011.

My Commission Expires: February 27, 2011.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.