Archdiocese of Milwaukee
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May 10, 2019
 
Dear Father, Deacon, Parish Director, Parish Staff,
 
Last week, Pope Francis issued a Motu Proprio Decree, on the Church’s response to Clergy Sexual Abuse.  The decree mirrors many of the practices established in the Essential Norms and the Charter of the Protection of Children and Young People (the Dallas Charter) adopted by the U.S. Bishops in 2002.
 
In the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the policies outlined in Promise to Protect, Pledge to Heal dictate how the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has implemented and enforced the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. This document, most recently revised in 2017, contains the policies, procedures and protocols for sexual abuse prevention and response, and is available here.
 
Nothing outlined in this new Motu Proprio Decree will require the policies and actions of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to be changed or modified with regard to sexual abuse of minors.
 
However, the Holy Father’s decree does extend beyond minors, to clerical abuse of someone by threat of violence, abuse of authority or imbalance of power.
 
Soon, Archbishop Listecki will appoint a Fitness for Ministry Oversight Board that will initiate a process for the review of complaints about serious breaches of the Code of Ethical Standards.  This will fulfill what is called for in the Motu Proprio.
 
The process will include an investigation (either reviewing evidence that has been brought forth or an admission by the accused or an independent investigation by a professional investigator), a review of the facts of the situation by the Oversight Board and a recommendation to the archbishop about the individual’s fitness for ministry and any need for professional assistance. 
 
The Archdiocesan Council of Priests was informed about this process at its April 11, 2019, meeting and the plan was shared with priests at the recent Priests’ Spring Assembly. 
 
Lastly, Archbishop Listecki, in consultation with the bishops of the Wisconsin province, has commissioned the development of a process that would provide an avenue for individuals to report any misconduct by bishops, including instances in which bishops are not honoring their commitments in responding to clergy sexual abuse or living up to safe environment standards.
 
Sincerely,
 
Dr. Barbara Anne Cusack, Chancellor
Motu Proprio Full Text
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This email was sent by: Barbara Anne Cusack
Archdiocese of Milwaukee
St. Francis WI 53235