Diocese of La Crosse names clergy accused of child sexual abuse

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)– The Diocese of La Crosse revealed details about substantiated child sexual abuse by clergy Saturday evening. It named 25 clergy members that participated in substantiated child sexual abuse accusations, in a report posted on its website.

While the report says which parishes the clergy members served in, most do not say when or where the allegations originated. The report released this afternoon includes 18 diocesan clergy members, where the abuse occurred in or while the cleric was incardinated in the Diocese of La Crosse.

It also lists two non-diocesan clergy members with a substantiated allegation in the Diocese. And, it names five non-diocesan clergy members who spent time in the Diocese, but the abuse was substantiated somewhere else.

Most of these clergy members are now deceased, while others were removed, suspended or laicized.  Bishop William Patrick Callahan said in a message on YouTube that the disclosure of the names is an important, necessary and painful step.

This list could be incomplete. The Diocese said some allegations could not be substantiated.

According to an analysis by the Associated Press, more than 900 clergy members accused of child sexual abuse were missing from lists released by the dioceses and religious orders where they served.

The list was created through an independent audit of all clergy files dating back to 1868. The firm Defenbaugh & Associates, Inc. assisted with the report, according to a press release.

The Diocese of La Crosse serves nearly 200,000 Catholics. It has parishes in 19 counties: Adams, Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Crawford, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Marathon, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Portage, Richland, Trempealeau, Vernon and Wood.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.