UNDATED (WSAU) The Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese has agreed to give information to Fond du Lac Police about a defrocked priest, as part of an ongoing sex abuse investigation. Police asked the archdiocese last month for information about Jerome Wagner. The church initially said no, claiming the file was sealed by a judge as part of the archdiocese bankruptcy proceedings. But the church said two of its staffers provided the wrong information, and a Fond du Lac detective was granted the file on Wagner – who was defrocked for molesting a child from 1997-to-2001.
Yesterday attorneys for sex abuse victims used the release to ask Bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley to disclose all records involving priest sex abuse allegations that were deemed to be credible. The lawyers are trying to expose the methods that retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland and retired Auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba used to handle abuse allegations.
Victims have accused the church of covering up abuse cases for years, thus allowing pedophile priests to offend again in other parishes. Last April, Kelley said the files had “scandalous material,” and she ordered them sealed – but she did grant exceptions for law enforcement probes.