Revelations in Green Bay.

SNAP has released a 1983 letter from the late bishop Aloysius Wycislo of Green Bay to Fr. John Patrick Feeney, who was convicted of molestation in 2004 and laicized in 2005. The letter reads in part:

As I go through the total file of the hearings, your meetings with the personnel board, and your response, the conclusion seems to be that in your best interest another diocese, another atmosphere, new people, and new faces might be the answer to your problem.It is a pity that serving the Diocese of Green Bay for thirty years ends in this way, but, really, haven't we all tried? Again and again there were so many assignments. In my case, I am capable of forgetting about all this and writing a good letter of recommendation for you to a new bishop, and I hope and pray you will find one....You have my permission to seek a meeting with another bishop, and as I said above, I will be happy to be in contact with such a bishop.

Let's ponder this appalling sentence again: "I am capable of forgetting about all this and writing a good letter of recommendation for you to a new bishop, and I hope and pray you will find a new one." According to the WBAY report, Wycislo gave Feeney three months to find a new assignment (presumably the time between the letter and when Feeney had to report for treatment)--during which he would not turn him over to the authorities.

If you do not find a bishop willing to accept you by the time you need to report to a treatment center to begin a program to assist you with your problems, I think you see the wisdom of this alternative since time and time again I have been advised by civil servants, specifically the Attorney General, that unless the diocese promised to provide for treatment you would be prosecuted.

According to the WBAY story, "The diocese says the letter shows it cooperated with authorities and is not trying to cover up anything."(H/T: Abuse Tracker)

Grant Gallicho joined Commonweal as an intern and was an associate editor for the magazine until 2015. 

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Paul Baumann is on the air.

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