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Statement by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial Board

December 31, 2011

The following statement was published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial Board on December 31, 2011

In what may be a watershed moment, an independent group of Milwaukee-area priests and victims of sexual abuse by priests are working together to urge other victims to come forward and for the church to be more transparent in its dealings.

We think the effort is laudable and could go far in healing the wounds that are still raw for many victims.

The new group took out a full-page ad in Tuesday’s Journal Sentinel, urging other victims to file for restitution in federal bankruptcy court before a Feb. 1 deadline. Four priests involved in the effort are working independently of the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese.

The group got started about a year ago after Peter Isely, the Midwest director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, approached Father James Connell following a news conference.

“In the Christian story, which I believe in and have faith in, the truth may seem buried and dead, but there’s always a way the truth will come back to life,” Isely said. “I’ve always had a deep conviction that survivors and priests of integrity can turn the corner on the sexual abuse crisis. It’s not going to be the bishops who do it.”


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