AG to Launch Investigation into Catholic Clergy Abuse in WI, SNAP Reacts
According to a letter obtained by USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin, the attorney general of that state will launch an investigation into Catholic dioceses and religious orders to determine how many clergy members have sexually assaulted children over the years. SNAP is delighted in this important development.
We are grateful that Attorney General Josh Kaul has followed in the footsteps of twenty-one of his colleagues across the nation and taken the first step towards an investigation of Catholic sexual abuse in Wisconsin. We hope that Mr. Kaul’s office will also open a confidential hotline for victims to report independently, as well as using search warrants or subpoenas to obtain abuse records, including the secret files, from all five dioceses and every religious order operating in the state.
Since PA's Attorney General Josh Shapiro released a devastating grand jury report on Catholic clergy abuse in his state in August of 2018, we have been calling for investigations to be launched in every state in the union. While we are glad that AG Kaul is finally on board with taking action, we know that it is cold comfort to those families, like the loved ones of Nate Lindstrom, for whom this probe comes decades too late.
Currently, church officials in Wisconsin have admitted to 196 abusers. Based on SNAP’s internal analysis, we expect that AG Kaul will likely find an additional two hundred abusers through his investigation. This will lead to sorely needed information that will better protect children and lead to healing for survivors.
Grand jury investigations are the only way to uncover abuses that have happened for decades. No one knew more about the abuse and no one has done less than the diocese and religious institutions themselves. SNAP has always been committed to seeking justice and we encourage any victim who needs support to reach out to our contact page.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network) has provided support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)