Listecki: Accused Pedophile Priest No Longer Getting Benefits

By Charles Benson
Today's TMJ4
September 17, 2010

[with video]

MILWAUKEE - Accused pedophile priests, who've been fired from the Catholic Church, are still getting thousands of dollars in benefits from the Milwaukee Archdiocese. But now, they're being cut-off.

Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki says the church is cutting off all financial ties with nine priests accused of sexual abuse.

The priests are no longer performing church services but are still in the long process of being officially removed.

TODAYSTMJ4 reporter Charles Benson asked Listecki, "What would you say to Catholics who might be asking why would you support these guys in the first place? They've been accused of doing some horrible things."

"The sense is, you're obligated under law to help them in transition out of priesthood," Listecki told Benson.

The diocese was helping the disgraced priests with health insurance, housing and pension obligations, some for five or six years.

"My sense was to evaluate what we've been doing," said Listecki, "and what we've been providing to fulfill our obligation. And now to take an assessment and say that our obligation has ended."

The church says the priests were not paid a salary but the benefits for all nine totaled more than $90,000 this past year.

"I think it's really going to surprise a lot of people," said Peter Isely. Isely is with an organization that has been critical of the church's handling of priest sex abuse cases. He says, "It's really going to be amazing, I think, to Catholics and others is that that; 'Oh my God, we've been paying for these guys all these years?'"

The church is not identifying the nine priests, but they have a list of priests on their website who have been removed from church duties because of sex abuse allegation.


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