Wisconsin AG to Investigate State’s Catholic Dioceses
Posted on: May 25, 2021 Catholic Church Sexual Abuse
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul sent a letter to the state’s five Catholic dioceses notifying them that his office will begin an investigation into sexual abuse allegations against clergy and other faith leaders. In the letter, Kaul asked the dioceses to preserve any relevant documents or information regarding sexual abuse by clergy.
“I agree with the many survivors of clergy abuse, and those who support and have advocated for them, that a review by our office is necessary to provide accountability and, ultimately, healing,” Kaul wrote. “I hope you will welcome that review.”
Survivors of sexual abuse in Wisconsin have been asking Kaul’s office for years to launch an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against clergy. Those requests have grown louder and called for more urgency as Nate Lindstrom, a man who accused three priests from St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere of sexually abusing him as a teenager in the 1980s, committed suicide last year. An investigation found that Lindstrom had received $420,000 in secret payments over 10 years from the Abbey until it stopped sending him payments in 2019.
Advocates for survivors are hopeful that an independent investigation, and not one done by the same institution accused of allowing the abuse, will have similar results in exposing the church’s covering up of sexual abuse as investigations launched by AG’s in other states has had. While all but one Wisconsin diocese has released a list of clergy with credible allegations of sexual abuse of children against them, none of them details the potential number of victims out there. The article refers to a similar investigation launched by the Attorney General in Pennsylvania which showed that more than 1,000 children had been abused by at least 300 clergy members since 1940. The Pennsylvania investigation also detailed how senior members of the church worked to cover up allegations of sexual abuse and moved “problem priests” around to different parishes.
The entire article can be viewed here.
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