Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Connell Making Waves with Listecki...

Over two weeks ago now, Fr. James Connell, a canon lawyer and priest of the Archdiocese of the Milwaukee, stated the the national audits by the US Bishops of individual dioceses do not protect children adequately from child abuse. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and La Crosse covered the story, but few others. The reason that the statement was also covered in La Crosse is because Connell asserts that the current standards to protect children from priest molesters in the Diocese of La Crosse in particular are not sufficient.

As people in both dioceses know, current Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki came from La Crosse. Connell points out that according to the Vatican, priests who are accused of sexual abuse with a semblence of truth or probable cause are to be reported the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). The Diocese of La Crosse does not report to the CDF unless the claim seems beyond a reasonable doubt or has moral certitude. This is basically the difference between culpability in a civil versus criminal court case and means that La Crosse has a lower standard for reporting possible pedophile priests than the Vatican.

Connell's statement is important and needed. It is shame that more media outlets have not picked up this story. At the same time, it will be interesting to see how the relationship between Listecki and Connell develops in the future. Connell statement is basically an indictment of Listecki for endangering children while he was in La Crosse.

A Faithful Catholic

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