Press Release

Diocese Receives Final Notification on Carroll Case

Diocese-Green-Bay-LogoGREEN BAY, Wis. (September 9, 2016) -- Bishop David L. Ricken received notification from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) at the Vatican that Michael Carroll has been found guilty of sexual abuse of minors and is permanently restricted from priestly duties and ordered to live a life of prayer and penance.

A life of prayer and penance, as defined by The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, states Carroll is no longer permitted to celebrate Mass publicly or to administer the sacraments. Furthermore, he is no longer able to wear clerical attire, or to present himself publicly as a priest.

Restrictions in Force Since 2002

Allegations first came to light in 2002, at which time Carroll was temporarily restricted from the exercise of public priestly ministry. The temporary restrictions have been in force since that time. Following diocesan policy, civil authorities were notified of the allegations against Carroll, which he categorically denied.

Following a determination by then Bishop David A. Zubik, that there was credible evidence supporting the allegations, the Diocese of Green Bay began the canonical penal process. This resulted in a trial utilizing three canon lawyers/judges from outside the diocese who ruled that Carroll was guilty and forwarded their findings to the CDF. At this point, Carroll's canon lawyer filed an appeal with the CDF. A second trial was then ordered by the CDF and facilitated by the Archdiocese of Detroit. The second trial also returned a guilty verdict.

Bishop Ricken expressed his personal regret for the pain and suffering of all those abused by Carroll and for the long canonical process. We ask for prayers for all victim/survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

Diocesan Policies Rigorously Enforced

Diocesan policies for keeping children safe are and will continue to be rigorous. The policies include:

  • Mandated background checks and abuse prevention training of all staff and volunteers in our parishes, schools and diocesan offices (approximately 36,000 people).
  • Barring from ministry any clergy who have a credible allegation of abuse of a minor against them.
  • Mandatory reporting of all credible allegations of abuse to local law enforcement authorities. This has ensured that due process within our legal system takes place. Year after year, the Diocese has demonstrated its compliance with its policies, with national standards, and adherence to state law.
  • More information is available on the diocese's website ( under the section titled "Protecting Our Children."


Who We Are

As friends and followers of Jesus, the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay is devoted to fostering households and communities of discipleship through the mission and ministry of the Catholic Church. We are missionary disciples striving to lead all people to the Kingdom of God. Established in 1868, the diocese is composed of 324,000 Catholics in 16 counties: Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Forest, Kewaunee, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago.


Justine Lodl
Director of Communications
Phone: (920) 272-8213
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Sarah Bradford
Communications Coordinator
Phone: (920) 272-8209
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