Loading
Sexual abuse
Archdiocese to cooperate with judge’s order to open personnel files

.- The Archdiocese of Milwaukee will cooperate with a judge’s order to release 3,000 pages of insurance records and confidential files related to a priest who had been convicted of molestation.

The Wheeler news service reported yesterday that the archdiocese will go along with the courts decision and release the files related to Fr. Sigfried Widera.

Fr. Widera was convicted in Wisconsin in 1973 of sexual perversion. However, the archdiocese transferred him to California in 1981. He was facing 42 counts of child molestation in the two states when he leapt to his death from a hotel balcony in Mexico in 2003.

According to the Associated Press, Superior Court Judge Peter Lichtman wrote in his 59-page ruling that the files on Fr. Widera prove that “priests with known sexual proclivities have been handed off from location to another without regard to the potential harm to the children of the Church.”

The judge struck down the archdiocese’s arguments for keeping the documents private, including claims that the records were protected by third-party privacy rights, the First Amendment and the confidential business rights of the archdiocese.

The ruling sets a precedent for the release of confidential files of other priests, attorney Raymond Boucher told the AP.

Attorney Donald Steier, who represents accused priests, disagrees. He said the order only applies to the files of priests who are dead and only in cases in which a diocese has not sought protective orders during litigation.

“Apparently, Milwaukee turned all these files over during the litigation phase without protective orders,” Steier was quoted as saying.

Last year, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee agreed to pay eight California victims $13.3 million, in addition to nearly $15 million they received in 2004 from the Diocese of Orange, in California. Fr. Widera’s files from California were already made public.

The archdiocesan spokeswoman, Kathleen Hohl, refused to speak to the Wheeling News Service about the ruling, but said the documents would not be released for at least 30 days.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: