Archbishop to Meet with Sex Abuse Victims

October 18, 2010

[with video]

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Catholic Archbishop Jerome Listecki is leading the effort to stop lawsuits by fifteen sex abuse victims from going to court.

Listecki and the victims are meeting Monday in Chicago for mediation.

"We're attempting to do everything we can to bring some type of closure and peace at this time and it seems mediation at least affords that opportunity," Listecki said.

The lawsuits accuse the Archdiocese of fraud for moving pedophile priests to other cites instead of reporting their crimes.

Peter Isely with SNAP, the survivors network of those abused by priests, said this is the fifth time the Archdiocese has mediated with victims.

He said what's different this time is the victims have the threat of moving forward with lawsuits.

"If the Archbishop says I'm not going to do anything these victims are able to say what choice are you leaving us, we're now going to have to proceed to trial," said Isely.

In past meditations the church paid money to victims, but Isely said in this case that wont be enough.

He said the victims are demanding the church release the names of all priests who have offended, and they want the offenders to have to sign up for the state sex offender registry.

"They want to know of all the sex offenders that have been here, what did their bishops know and what did they do with that information," Isely said.

Listecki said the focus of the mediation is healing.

"I want to hopefully bring some type of peace and reconciliation to those who are victim survivors in this situation, that's my hope," Listecki said.

Retired Illinois Judge Stuart Nudelman will act as the mediator.

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