4 Priests Named in Abuse
$1.6M paid to 19 victims

By Pat Schneider
February 19, 2003
Capital Times (Madison WI)

The Diocese of Madison will no longer make secrecy a condition of settlements for victims of priest sexual abuse, officials said Tuesday as they acknowledged payments of $1.6 million to 19 victims.

Bishop William H. Bullock also named four priests against whom documented allegations of serious abuse have been made: Lawrence Trainor, Michael Trainor, Curtiss Alvarez and Archie Adams.

All of the priests, who were ordained in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, resigned 10 to 20 years ago and do not function as priests, diocesan officials said.

The public identification of an abuser is an important step in healing, said Patty Gallagher Marchant, who was abused as a child at a Monona parish in 1965.

"I am absolutely elated as the survivor of Lawrence Trainor that the church had the courage to name him before any of us victims had to name him," Marchant said. "Having the church protect him was as horrible as suffering sexual abuse at the hands of a priest."

Officials of the Madison Diocese released the information on priest sex abusers and settlements to meet policy standards the United States Catholic Conference has requested all dioceses comply with by March 1.

Bullock said that the diocese will not enter into any new settlement agreements that contain confidentiality provisions and that the diocesan Finance Council will review terms of all settlements. An investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by suspended priest Kenneth Klubertanz is continuing.

The Madison Diocese previously has not released the amount paid in settlement of priest sex abuse cases. Officials said last year that as attention to the widespread practice arose, they did not know how much had been paid out.

On Tuesday, diocesan officials stressed that payments were not financed by the Diocesan Service Appeal, an annual collection from parishes to fund diocesan programs. But spokesman Bill Brophy acknowledged that money from the collection plate likely went toward insurance premiums and a Self Insurance Loss Fund that covered the settlements.

Marchant's complaint against Lawrence Trainor was settled before a lawsuit was filed, and an agreement with the diocese barred her from naming him, so his identity has not been widely known in the community.

Michael Trainor's identity became widely known in Dane County in the early 1990s after about a dozen victims from several area parishes filed lawsuits. Family members of several victims have said they were shamed by diocesan officials for bringing allegations of abuse and were muzzled by settlement agreements with the diocese.

The two Trainors are not known to be related. Alvarez and Adams had not been publicly accused of abuse in the past.

Marchant and other members of Survivor Network for Those Abused by Priests have pressed church officials around the country to lift the shroud of secrecy from abusive priests.

On Tuesday, Marchant praised church officials for taking that step.

"That Bullock has the courage to name the perpetrators and be honest with the community is commendable," Marchant said.

Victims' rights groups also have called on the Catholic Church to acknowledge the scope of settlements made in priest abuse cases.

Marchant urged the church to follow up its revelations with support for victims and their families, including listening sessions for them to air the abuse and the damage it caused.

She also called on the diocese to support proposed changes to state law that would make it easier for victims of clergy abuse to bring civil and criminal charges against abusers.

On Tuesday, Bullock also announced the appointment of an employee of the Madison Diocese to the role of assistance coordinator for victims to oversee coordination of support services and pastoral outreach. Kate Wiskus, director of the Office of Pastoral Services, previously founded a child abuse prevention network in Rock County.

A five-member Diocesan Sexual Abuse Review Board was named in July to assess allegations, advise on the suitability of clergy to the ministry and review diocesan policies. On Tuesday, Bullock announced the addition of Madison attorney Daniel Hildebrand to the committee.

The panel is chaired by Roland Day, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court chief justice who wrote a 1995 decision that made it almost impossible - on First Amendment grounds - to sue a church in Wisconsin for the sexual misconduct of its clergy.

A bill expected to be introduced soon in the Legislature would give clergy sex abuse victims better access to the courts by holding churches liable for criminal sexual misconduct that could have been anticipated. The proposal would allow charges to be brought for a longer period after sexual abuse, and it would require church employees to report suspected abuse to civil authorities.


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