The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Statement Regarding Arrest of WI Priest

October 26, 2004

For Immediate Release

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest--Wisconsin Chapter
Contact: Peter Isely, Midwest Director (414-429-7259)

SNAP Wisconsin Statement on the Arrest in Milwaukee of Fr. Donald Buzanowski

Removed from ministry and allowed to live undetected for over a decade and work with youth as a counselor for Milwaukee County agencies, multiple child molester Donald Buzanowski was arrested in Milwaukee yesterday and is being arraigned on two counts of first degree child sexual assault today in Brown County. Buzanowski resided as a priest both in the diocese of Green Bay and Milwaukee.

All citizens owe a debt of gratitude to the courageous victim who came forward in this case. We urge, as always, all victims of clergy sexual crimes to report their abuse to civil authorities. Only when law enforcement takes clergy crimes against children seriously and act aggressively can the public have some assurance that children in the community are safe from sexual predators like Fr. Buzanowski.

Buzanowski was convicted and released from federal prison for possession of child pornography in 2002. The priest also admitted in a letter obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to having abused at least 14 minors while a priest for the Diocese of Green Bay (see "Abusive Priest Evades Justice," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 22, 2003).

Since his release from Federal prison in 2002 and taking residence in Milwaukee, we are alarmed that neither Archbishop Dolan of Milwaukee or Bishop Zubik of Green Bay have notified the community of Fr. Buzanowski history or urged other victims of the priest to come forward to law enforcement. Fr. Buzanowski did not appear on the list of known sex offenders released this summer by Archbishop Dolan, illustrating yet again the dangerously inadequate and incomplete nature of this list.

A civil case against the Diocese of Green Bay filed last year claims that church officials deliberately interfered with the reporting of the case now under prosecution (see Associated Press story, "Appeals Court Revives Lawsuit Against Green Bay Diocese," August 3, 2004).


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests