Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Milwaukee Archdiocese knew of Wauwatosa priest accusations but did not suspend him

Catholic Church officials in Milwaukee had known for 10 months that Father Robert Marsicek was under investigation on suspicion of molesting two children in California, according to the Sacramento diocese.  But they did not move to suspend him from his duties at two local parishes and schools until a new allegation surfaced at a Wauwatosa school last month.

Kevin Eckery, a spokesman for the Diocese of Sacramento, said officials there notified the Archdiocese of Milwaukee; Marsicek's Milwaukee-based religious order, the Society of the Divine Savior; and attorneys for both of the organizations about the California allegations in May 2012.

Marsicek is accused of sexually abusing two children in one family while he served at Divine Savior Parish in Orangevale, according to an announcement read at the California parish last weekend.

Archdiocese spokesman Jerry Topczewski and Divine Savior Provincial Father Joseph Rodrigues said no steps were taken to restrict Marsicek from parishes or schools because to do so might have compromised the California investigation. Topczewski said that is in keeping with the archdiocese's policy in such cases.

"You can't just remove a guy without telling him why," he said. "And if you tell him why, does he have an opportunity to start building a defense? Could he flee, try to pressure people? It's a huge balancing act."
continue at JS 

... I'm not sure it's that complicated.  Shouldn't the policy be changed if it doesn't call for removal of priest being formally investigated?

Let the record state Marsicek has NOT been charged.
'The Society of the Divine Savior said it had been notified by the district attorney's office that no charges would be brought against Father Robert Marsicek, who was relieved of his duties at Pius X parish in Wauwatosa, Wauwatosa Catholic School and Mother of Good Counsel parish and school in Milwaukee shortly before Easter. ... 

3 comments:

  1. While preserving the right to be considered innocent until prove guilty, what bothers me in this case is the buck-passing between the Religious Order and the Archdiocese. “The archdiocese maintains that religious orders are responsible for their own priests. Yes, but subject to the diocese in which they function publicly.

    The ‘hair-splitting’ denial by the Order’s Provincial was particularly egregious. He denied knowledge of the Californian investigation initially, then explained that his denial meant he had not heard it ‘from a victim’… Very ‘Jesuitical’ of him.

    If the Order didn’t inform the Archdiocese of the allegations, then it is the Order’s fault and the Archdiocese wouldn’t have known. But if the Archdiocese was informed, I can’t see why the man was given ‘faculties’ here, pending the results of the investigation.

    I don’t often agree with Peter Isely, but this time I do. It seems we have still not learned the lessons about transparency. And here in Milwaukee, we of all people should have learned that lesson well.

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    Replies
    1. Right, the school operates in the archdiocese. This was not some guy out in a monastery with no connection to children.

      I certainly feel for priests who are I'm sure very uncomfortable with the fact they can be wrongly accused and after the damage has been done been cleared. But there is no other way I can see that safety of children can take highest priority.

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    2. How many times are children going to be put in harms way. As a victim of repeated rape by a Milwaukee priest. I can tell you it has really hurt my functional life, suicide attempts and depression
      takes most of my hope away, the way that the Archdiocese has treated me was hurtful. When Archbishop Listecki asked me to come forward and then tries to get almost all of our cases thrown out of court. These actions are just mean. Why did you ask the victims of clergy sex abuse to come forward for healing and resolution only to hurt us,again.

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