Secret Files Released

Catholics, SNAP react to Milwaukee Archdiocese sex abuse document release

CREATED Jul 1, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - As Milwaukee's Archdiocese releases 6,000-plus pages of documents about abuse by its priests, Catholics and a group which represents abuse victims are sounding off.

“This is a shocking and stunning document, how they have concealed and moved not only predator priests, but all the money," said Peter Isely of SNAP, or Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

SNAP urges all Catholics to read all 6,000 pages.

“I think every Catholic in this Archdiocese should read this carefully because what it’s going to show is that they’ve been lied to,” said John Pilmaier, SNAP Wisconsin Director.

Jeffrey Anderson is an attorney who represents most of the 500-plus victims who have filed sex abuse claims against the church.

“In order for the future to be safe, it is there and our view the past has to be known.  It has to be disclosed.  It has to be exposed," said Anderson.

Local Catholics argue being open and honest and publishing these documents is the only way the church and its members will be able to move forward.

“The church needs to come clean in terms of everything that happened, and hopefully once that’s done, we can start the healing process,” said Sally Doyle of Sussex.

She has not decided whether she would look at the documents herself.

“It’s impacted a ton of people over the past few years.  It’s probably gone back farther than we even know but, that’s something the Catholic Church has to deal with,” said Chris Linskens of Brookfield.

When it comes to whether this scandal would affect his view of the Church, Linskens said, "Regardless of what has happened with the Church and my beliefs on how good priests are, I know my faith, and my relationship with God."

SNAP is calling on the diocese to release even more information.  They say there are more priests who are not named in these documents.