Group Seeks Bishop's Help with Prosecuting Offenders

By Tony Walter
Green Bay Press-Gazette

August 27, 2008

The organization representing victims of clergy sexual abuse has asked incoming Catholic Diocese of Green Bay Bishop David Ricken to side with it in continuing efforts to prosecute offenders.

"He's coming in as one of the experts on this problem," said Peter Isely, Midwest director for The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP.

Isely cited Ricken's role in dealing with offenders during his tenure as the leader of the Catholic Church in Wyoming. His organization wants Ricken to take action in several areas during his first 100 days as the bishop of the Green Bay Diocese.

Ricken, who will be installed as the diocese's 12th bishop Thursday, said in a Tuesday morning interview that he hasn't had a chance to fully study the issue as it relates to the Northeastern Wisconsin diocese.

"That's a big priority for bishops throughout the country," Ricken said. "We need to be proactive in protecting children. It will take considerable time to study and be briefed about it. It's a terrible thing and I hope I can be actively engaged in a healing process that actually works."

SNAP wants Ricken to release records related to former Chicago diocesan priest Norbert Maday, who was convicted in 1994 of sexually abusing several boys in Winnebago County. Maday was sentenced to 20 years in prison and currently is in a mental health lockup facility.



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