Milwaukee Archbishop Unfazed by about 550 Sex Abuse Claims

February 2, 2012

MILWAUKEE- Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki was not fazed by about 550 claims of sexual abuse in his conversation with TODAY'S TMJ4.

Archbishop Listecki's message is that the church will see the accusers in court.

While the window for abuse claims has closed, Archbishop Listecki knows his church's trials have only begun.

"Now we know what we have to deal with in terms of those who have come forward and brought suits against the church," said Archbishop Listecki.

Before an event celebrating Milwaukee's Catholic schools, the Archbishop did not express alarm at the number of abuse claims, and he expects the 550-plus number to shrink once the cases go to court.

Victims' advocate Jeff Anderson suspects the archdiocese will try to throw out even cases where abuse has been substantiated.

"The archdiocese is arguing that many, if not most of these claims should be thrown out and we'll be vigorously and rigorously opposing that," said Anderson.

The archbishop did not deny that would be the church's strategy. "Whether they fall in the purview of our responsibility, as an archdiocese, that's the other question."

At Wednesday's dinner on the Marquette campus, the faithful were reluctant to weigh in on the scandal, except to condemn all acts of abuse.

The Archdiocese will be in court next week, where it will make its first three objections. Those claims involve three abuse cases, including one dating back almost 40 years.








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