Press Release



Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims


For immediate release:
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

CONTACT: Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director (Milwaukee), 414.429.7259

Tommy Thompson arranged for body of predator priest's mother brought to correctional facility for "private" viewing

New church documents show Cardinal George of Chicago thanking Wisconsin Governor for his “extraordinary” and “exceptional” efforts to accommodate priest molester

 Records also show church efforts to influence Governor’s office to obtain early release

--Letter and Memo attached; full document set found at links below statement--

Milwaukee, Wisconsin – In one of the strangest episodes yet in the church priest child sex abuse scandal, former four term Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson personally arranged for the deceased body of the mother of an incarcerated Chicago priest to be shipped to the Fox Valley Correctional Institute so that the sex offender priest could have a private viewing and service.

The revelations are contained in previously secret church documents released Tuesday as part of a 12.7 million dollar abuse settlement between abuse victims and the Chicago Archdiocese.

The Chicago priest, Fr. Norbert Maday, was sentenced in 1995 in Winnebago County to twenty years for raping two boys on separate outings to central Wisconsin.  Three years after his imprisonment Mayday’s mother died.  Following corrections policy, Maday was not released from prison for the funeral. 

So Governor Thompson, it appears, brought the funeral to the incarcerated priest.

In the letter from Cardinal Francis George of Chicago to Thompson, dated September 8, 1998, George thanks Thompson for his “exceptional act of charity” in bringing the body of Mrs. Maday to the correctional facility, an undertaking which appears to have involved dozens of state and correction officials, staff, officers and the state’s legal council, apparently all at taxpayers expense. 

“I know of the extraordinary planning and subsequent effective mobilization that had to take place that day,” George wrote Thompson. 

Thompson is a Roman Catholic.

The new documents also show Chicago church officials planning to ramp up efforts by Green Bay bishop Aloysius Wycislo to intervene with the new Wisconsin Governor to get Maday an early release.  A memo from the Vicar of Priests for the Archdiocese of Chicago to Cardinal George, dated February 16, 2000, states: “It is important that Bishop Wycislo intervene with the [Wisconsin] Governor in his own name.”

Victims of clergy sex crimes have long maintained that the low prosecution rate for priest sex offenders in Wisconsin and elsewhere is due to a long standing reluctance of District Attorney’s and other elected officials to put priests and other clergy behind bars.

Only about 3 percent of all priests admitted by church officials to have raped children have ever been incarcerated in the United States. 

In the last six months, court ordered release of Wisconsin church documents show that long time Milwaukee DA E. Michael McCann was involved with church officials in keeping pedophile priest Franklyn Becker from prosecution and that current Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, when DA of Outagamie County, collaborated with church officials to keep serial child molester, Fr. John Feeney, from justice as well. 

Still believed to be serving his sentence, Maday is scheduled to be back in court in Winnebago County in October when the state petitions that he be categorized as a “sexually violent person.”   

Church documents also show that the archdiocese of Chicago was paying Maday a $300.00 a month stipend while in prison.


Deposition Transcript of Cardinal George

Exhibits Part 1

Exhibits Part 2

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest self help organization of clergy sex abuse survivors, founded in 1988 with over 8,000 members in 62  chapters.   Visit SNAP on the web at

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests