MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Midwest Communications) - Eau Claire’s police chief said the new Catholic archbishop in Milwaukee was wrong in what he told state legislators about priest sex abuse last month. The Journal Sentinel uncovered a letter from Police Chief Jerry Matysik. He told Senate Democrat Jon Erpenbach that Archbishop Jerome Listecki was untruthful in saying a policy has changed in his old diocese on reporting sex abuse by priests. The La Crosse Diocese, where Listecki was the bishop, has required victims to call them instead of law enforcement. Listecki told a state panel the policy is not in effect now, when he testified on a related bill. But in his letter 10 days later, chief Matysik said the only thing that changed was the name of the person abuse victims should complain to.
Matysik told the Journal Sentinel that the archbishop either misunderstood a question or misled the legislators. And he said Listecki appears more interested in, “protecting the organization than he is in protecting children.” The attorney for the La Crosse Diocese defends the notification policy, saying it passed muster with law enforcement officials on its sex abuse review board. He said it lets the church respond more quickly to protect kids, and it turns over all complaints to the police as required by the law.
Meanwhile, Peter Isley of the Survivors’ Network for Those Abused by Priests said a recent case involving a visiting priest from Guyana highlights the problem with the church’s policy. The Reverend Edmund Donkor-Baine is due in court next week for allegedly having sexual contact with a woman while counseling her on a divorce. La Crosse County sheriff’s officials said the woman first reported the complaint to the diocese, and it said her story was not credible.
(from WTAQ-Green Bay)