Retired Mackville Priest Cleared in Abuse Allegations, Diocese Says

Green Bay Press-Gazette
June 16, 2013

The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay said Saturday it has cleared the Rev. Justin Werner in allegations of abuse of a minor at an Outagamie County church in the 1970s.

It said Werner, a retired senior priest, was cleared following an investigation.

“The independent investigator has concluded the allegation against Father Justin Werner is unsubstantiated,” the diocese said in a press release issued Saturday afternoon.

Restrictions on Werner’s ministry have been lifted by Bishop David Ricken.

“At the same time, we as a diocese must be diligent in our due process to ensure the safety of our children and to advocate on behalf of victims/survivors,” the diocese said in the release. “Therefore, the investigation regarding the allegation of abuse from the 1970’s continues.”

The diocese said in April the abuse was alleged to have happened at St. Edward Parish in Mackville. Werner denied the allegations.

The diocese said in April it notified civil authorities of the allegations as part of its mandatory reporting policy. No charges have been filed.

“We regret the pain and suffering that Fr. Werner and all those involved had to experience during this investigation,” it said the release. “We ask for prayers for all victims/survivors of clergy sex abuse, the person who brought forth the allegation and for Fr. Werner.”


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