Bishop Accountability

Accused "Diocesan" Priests: 55 (of which 45 diocesan clergy with substantiated allegations; 8 diocesan clergy with allegations that "proved to be false"; and 2 clerics with allegations that were "withdrawn")
Total "Diocesan" Priests: 1,245
Victims: 131 (includes individuals who have come forward and also those who have not come forward, but were identified by a perpetrator during a confrontation and subsequent investigation)
Cost: $3,400,000 paid by the archdiocese for out-of-court settlements, attorney fees, therapy, and other assistance; does not include "insurance and perpetrators portions"

See the Dallas Morning News database entry on Auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba. The June 2002 database examined the records of bishops and identified those who had allowed accused priests to continue working or had otherwise protected priests accused of sexual abuse. The database is relevant to the bishops' "Nature and Scope" study because the bishops who prepared the surveys for the study are in many cases responsible for the "scope" of the problem.

Archdiocese of Milwaukee Releases John Jay Report Data
Study Includes National Data on Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis

February 27, 2004

Contact: Kathleen Hohl, (414) 769-3453

A study commissioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released information for the entire country regarding the number of victims-survivors and clergy perpetrators from 1950 to 2002 was released today.

The John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York collected data from dioceses across the country. This national study, frequently referred to as "The John Jay Report," is a sign of the United States bishops' commitment to fulfilling their pledge in the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, adopted in Dallas in 2002. This study is the most comprehensive study of this topic by any institution in the United States.

The Report, which is available at the USCCB web site ( includes the following data for the years 1950-2002:

* The number of clergy members against whom allegations have been made;
* The number of victims/survivors; and
* The amount of money spent on costs, including settlements, attorney fees and therapy.

Allegations of sexual abuse against 4,392 clergy members were reported. This is approximately four percent of all active clergy members (109,694) from 1950-2002. A total of 10,667 individuals made allegations of sexual abuse. Nationally, $572,507,094 was spent on costs related to the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

Although this survey data was released as a total number, without individual figures for each diocese, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has believed it is important in the interest of accountability and transparency to provide the statistics for our archdiocese.

"There is deep regret that any child or young person was ever harmed by a clergy member or by anyone serving on behalf of the Church," said Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan. "For such a tragedy to happen in the Church is contrary to the will of Christ who showed such tender care for children. Healing the suffering associated with clergy sexual abuse is a priority of the Catholic Church, particularly in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee."

From 1950 through 2002, the archdiocesan records indicate there were 131 victims of sexual abuse of a minor by diocesan clergy. This number includes individuals who have come forward and also those who have not come forward, but were identified by a perpetrator during a confrontation and subsequent investigation.

Overall, there have been 45 diocesan clergy with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. In addition, allegations against eight other diocesan clerics proved to be false and allegations against two other clerics were withdrawn. During the time frame of the survey (1950 through 2002), 1,245 active and retired diocesan priests and 234 diocesan deacons served in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Based upon the 45 clerics with substantiated allegations, that equates to approximately three percent of total clerics serving the Archdiocese during that time frame.

Of all substantiated sexual abuse allegations brought forth, only two people have reported incidents of sexual abuse of a minor that occurred after 1990. All of the remaining reports deal with allegations of incidents that occurred before 1990.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee paid $3.4 million in out of court settlements, attorney fees, therapy and other assistance from 1950 to 2002 after insurance and perpetrators portions were subtracted.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee first released information on the financial impact of the clergy sexual abuse crisis in May 1995. Since that time, the archdiocese has released information related to the number of perpetrators, the number of victims-survivors, the number of people who have contacted the archdiocese, and the financial impact of the crisis several times in the past two years. Earlier this month, the archdiocesan annual report was mailed to Catholics throughout southeastern Wisconsin and included this information.

A copy of the print advertisement that will appear in USA Today and The New York Times is available by opening the PDF below.

Archdiocese of Milwaukee Compliant with USCCB Charter

In early January 2004, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee announced that it was found to be in compliance with the USCCB's Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, adopted in June 2002.

The Compliance Audit assessed how the Catholic dioceses throughout the United States performed in their efforts to integrate the Charter's standards into their diocesan administration. The Compliance Audit examined the four main sections of the Charter, which include:

* To promote healing and reconciliation;
* To guarantee effective response to allegations of sexual abuse of a minor;
* To ensure accountability of procedures;
* To protect the faithful in the future.

The archdiocese earned a commendation from the audit team for its foresight in implementing an outreach program in 1989, as well as for establishing the Eisenberg Commission, which was set up to review policies and procedures in March 2002.

More details, including the complete audit report for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is available at this link.

Archdiocese of Milwaukee Creates Safeguarding All of God's Family Program

The archdiocese has created a Safeguarding All of God's Family program to protect children and all family members from sexual abuse and related dangers.

Many of the components of Safeguarding All of God's Family use the VIRTUS program, a nationally-recognized training program developed by the National Catholic Risk Retention Group, Inc. Archdiocesan, parish and school staff as well as volunteers who regularly interact with minors, will participate in the training program. Age-appropriate abuse prevention education materials will be incorporated into Catholic school and religious education instruction.

To date, more than 4,700 people have participated in this program or registered for upcoming training sessions.

Independent Clergy Sexual Abuse Mediation System

Recognizing that some victims-survivors' are hesitant about contacting the Catholic Church to resolve their disputes, Archbishop Dolan commissioned Eva Soeka to create an independent mediation system. The system was created to help victims-survivors resolve disputes for those who have been sexually abused by Catholic clergy, with the goal of healing, restoration and closure.

Details about this system can be found at this link.

Saint Francis Seminary Screening and Admission Processes

As the clergy sexual abuse process unfolded, many people inquired about the process used to screen men who were entering the priesthood. Applicants to Saint Francis Seminary must undergo a thorough screening process, including personal interviews, evaluations from pastors and others who know the applicant, review of academic records, and psychological examination.

Saint Francis Seminary most recently reviewed its admission process in 1999. Additionally, in 2000, the Seminary updated its training program for interviewers. In 2003 it rewrote its protocols for psychological testing and follow-up.

More information about Saint Francis Seminary's screening process and admissions process can be found at this link.

Wisconsin Roman Catholic Church Investigation: Dioceses release sexual-abuse data

By Juliet Williams
Associated Press, carried in St. Paul Pioneer Press
February 26, 2004

MILWAUKEE — More than 100 Catholic clergy members in Wisconsin have had proven claims they sexually abused children since 1950, according to figures released by the state's five dioceses.

The reports from dioceses in Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee and Superior show at least 112 priests or clergy members have had substanti-ated allegations of child abuse against them. The dioceses said they have identified at least 323 claims of abuse, including at some of the state's religious orders.

The dioceses released the numbers before a comprehensive report due Friday that will detail such allegations nationwide from 1950 to 2002.

The study, commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and done by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, will tally the number of victims and perpetrators in dioceses nationwide.

In Wisconsin, however, not all dioceses included figures for religious orders that serve independently within their areas, so the numbers are incomplete. The religious orders will be reported separately in the national study.

The national study will not break down the results by diocese, and the dioceses were not required to make their reports public, but did so in an effort to be transparent.

"The most deplorable part of this entire report is the damage done to the innocent lives victimized by this abuse," wrote Superior Bishop Raphael M. Fliss in a letter published in the Catholic Herald.

The reports showed:

• The state's largest diocese, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, reported 131 victims of sexual abuse of a minor by clergy by 45 diocesan priests between 1950-2002.

• In Green Bay, the diocese reported 59 allegations of sexual abuse by 35 diocesan priests during the period.

• Madison diocese spokes- man Bill Brophy said there were 19 victims of sexual abuse by four diocesan priests from 1950-2002.

• La Crosse had 55 allegations involving 10 clergy members. La Crosse's numbers include religious order clergy.

• The Diocese of Superior said it knew of two abuser priests and five victims during the 52-year span. It also included religious order clergy.

• St. Norbert Abbey, a religious order, has revealed independently that 16 of 267 priests who served there had been accused of sexual misconduct with children during that establishment's 111 years. A report said there were 54 allegations, nearly half of them against two priests.

Each diocese used its own standards to decide which figures to report.

Peter Isely, a Milwaukee spokesman for the victims group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said the numbers don't reflect the true scope of the problem, because none of the church books were analyzed by outsiders.

"Why do they keep hiding this, in saying this is the number, when it's not the full number? If they're concerned about safety and not public relations, why would they do that?" Isely said Tuesday.

He also criticized the dioceses for failing to name all accused clergy and say which parishes they served.

"If the concern is public safety, you'd want to know the names and where have they been?" he said. "That's what people want to know: Has a sex offender been in my parish or my church?"

The national study was authorized by bishops in an effort to restore trust in their leadership following waves of revelations about abusive priests. The report could produce a much higher number of victims and abusers in the Catholic Church than has ever before been reported.

A draft of the survey viewed by CNN said 4,450 of the 110,000 U.S. clergy who served since 1950— about 4 percent — were accused of molesting minors, although not all the claims are likely to be deemed credible. The draft report also said there were 11,000 abuse claims filed in that time.

As well as the number of abusers and victims, the dioceses were required to report the amount of money they have paid to settle allegations of abuse.

The Wisconsin reports also showed:

• Green Bay paid out about $1.35 million, mostly through insurance, including more than $1 million for three cases involving one priest in the 1980s who has served prison time.

• La Crosse Diocese had not made any settlement payments, but it has spent about $15,000 on counseling.

• Madison paid out $1.6 million in settlements to its 19 abuse victims, spokesman Bill Brophy said.

• As of January 2003, Milwaukee paid $4 million in settlements with 29 victims, and said it spent another $2.3 million in related costs, including counseling. Insurance paid about $3 million. The figure does not include $450,000 the archdiocese paid to a man who claimed he was abused by former Archbishop Rembert Weakland.

• Superior paid out $542,000 in settlements, $482,000 of it by insurance, and spent more than $70,000 in legal fees. It also revealed it had spent about $200,000 for psychological treatment of two priests before it knew they were abusers.

Isely said the accounting of abuse should remind church leaders of their responsibility to negotiate fairly with sex-abuse victims.

"Hopefully, this study is going to press upon the bishops in Wisconsin that they've got to bring resolution to the victims in the state," Isely said.



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