The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
For Immediate Release:
Statement by the 70 Clergy Sexual Abuse Victims in Group Mediation with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Today we are asking Archbishop Dolan to trust the priests and leaders of the archdiocese with the names, locations and information concerning the dozens of known clergy sex offenders living in our community.
When the 70 victims of clergy sexual abuse from the Archdiocese
of Milwaukee agreed to group mediation with Archbishop Dolan last
December we were hopeful but very, very weary.
In Wisconsin, sadly, it makes all the difference.
So, as group settlements with victims have been concluded around the nation here in Milwaukee -- an archdiocese with one of the worst histories of sexual abuse and cover-up -- there remains no settlement with victims and no resolution for the church.
Over the past two years we have worked hard to make sure that victims
in the future will never have to be left without the protection
and the rights that the law must give to every man, woman and child
in our state. And so, this month, new legislation has been passed,
thanks to the courage of victims like those in our group to come
forward, tell our story, and press for needed reform. But these
new laws will do nothing for those of us who have been already victimized.
We desperately need of help and restitution today. We need counseling.
We need financial help to get our lives in some kind of order. We
But, we have repeatedly put our needs aside to put the safety of children first. When asked what we wanted out of mediation, one of our members said it simply and eloquently: Whatever it takes so this does not happen again.
One of the important changes in the new state law will require clergy to be mandatory reporters of child sexual abuse.
Our new proposal today to the Archbishop flows from this basic wisdom of the law that professionals responsible for the care of children must be given the tools they need to fulfill their duty.
That is why we 70 victims are proposing that the names, locations
and other crucial information the Archbishop Dolan has concerning
the dozens of known clergy sex offenders be released to all Roman
Catholic pastors and priests, the trustees of every Catholic parish,
the principals of every Catholic school, guidance counselors in
We know that some sexual predators will not cease in their efforts to have access to children. Clergy and former clergy identified as sex offenders by the church are now being discovered around the country working in schools, day camps, and other institutions.
If the bishops of Wisconsin, including Archbishop Dolan, do not trust the public or Catholic parents with the information they have concerning known clergy sex offenders, surely they will trust the priests and lay leaders of our church.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests