Saturday, June 19, 2010

Milwaukee vice chancellor rips La Crosse diocese’s abuse policy

Milwaukee vice chancellor rips La Crosse diocese’s abuse policy
June 18, 2010 Catholic Culture
Father James O’Connell, vice chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and a member of the archdiocesan review board for sexual abuse cases, issued an open letter on June 17 in which he blasted the Diocese of La Crosse’s abuse policy. Father O’Connell asserts that the diocese has an inordinately high burden of proof for removing an accused priest from ministry. He writes:


After more than three months of effort, I must acknowledge that I have been unable to generate a sense of priority and urgency among the local and national Church leaders whom I believe should take the initiative to investigate my concern. In short, these Church leaders neither attempt to prove me wrong nor do they take corrective action. Why is it so difficult for the leaders of the Catholic Church to do the right thing?
Father O’Connell issued his open letter on a day when his bishop-- Archbishop Jerome Listecki, formerly Bishop of La Crosse-- was away in Florida with fellow US bishops on retreat. The Diocese of La Crosse and Archdiocese of Milwaukee issued statements responding to Father O’Connell’s letter.