The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
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New WI bill would create nation’s first public registry of clergy child molesters
Pope last week acknowledged US bishops handled cases “very badly”
Places clergy in line with other professions such as doctors, therapists, teachers
Victims are hopeful church leaders will quickly get behind measure
Group to flyer parishioners at Gesu Parish Saturday, Cathedral Sunday
As parishioners leave mass on Saturday at Gesu Parish and Sunday at St. John’s Cathedral, victims of clergy abuse will hand out flyers announcing a new Wisconsin legislative effort to create the nation’s first registry of clergy child sex offenders.
-Saturday, flyering starts at 5:00 p.m. at Gesu Jesuit Parish, downtown Milwaukee, on Wisconsin Ave., between 12th and 13th streets
-Sunday, flyering starts at 11:30 a.m. at St. John’s Cathedral, Milwaukee, 812 N. Van Buren St.
3-5 victims of clergy childhood sexual abuse who are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the nation’s oldest and largest self help organization of victims.
As the Wisconsin spring legislative session was coming to an end, Rep. Peggy Krusick of Milwaukee and Sen. Tim Carpenter, long time advocates for children and child victims, introduced AB 949, a bill that would require religious organizations to submit to the Department of Health and Human services the names and case summaries of all clergy and others working in religious organizations who, after a reasonable investigation, were determined to have sexually abused children and minors but were not reported to criminal authorities. The bill would cover the years from 1950 to 2004 when a law was passed requiring clergy to join the other state’s major professions as mandatory reporters of child abuse.
The measure, the first of its kind in the nation, comes in the wake of Pope Benedict XVI historic remarks concerning the gravity and seriousness of clergy sex abuse and the failure of American bishops to deal properly with priests they had determined were raping and molesting children. The Pope urged Catholics to address the problem of sexual abuse by clergy and take all necessary steps to reach out to every single victim and prevent further crimes.
The vast majority of clergy who have abused children in Wisconsin are unknown to the public. The Catholic bishops in the state alone have admitted to well over 150 clergy child molesters over the past several decades. In the Milwaukee archdiocese, numbers vary from 45-50 diocesan clergy, some of whose names (but not case summaries or records) have been released but half the archdiocesan clergy, so called religious order clergy, are being kept secret by Archbishop Dolan and the religious orders like the Jesuits. In the Green Bay diocese, currently being run by Dolan as well, 51 clergy have been identified by church authorities to be sex offenders.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests