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Press Release

Diocese Responds to Outagamie Circuit Court Ruling

coat-of-armsGREEN BAY, Wis. (July 18, 2012) -- As a result of Judge Krueger's ruling today in the civil fraud lawsuit filed in Outagamie County District Court by Todd and Troy Merryfield against the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Deacon Timothy G. Reilly, General Director of the Diocesan Curia, issued the following statement:

"First and foremost, I want to reiterate our apology to Todd and Troy Merryfield for the abuse perpetrated upon them. What John Feeney did to them was wrong and inexcusable.

"Secondly, we applaud Judge Krueger's decision granting a new trial. This was a difficult decision for her, but she rightfully made her conclusion based upon the integrity of the justice and jury system and the right of all parties to a fair and impartial trial.

"This process has been difficult for the Merryfields, for other victims/survivors of sexual abuse, and for the faithful of the Diocese of Green Bay. To reconstruct actions and knowledge of 36 years ago, when so many of the key individuals with first-hand knowledge are dead, is fraught with problems. However, justice and the pursuit of truth compel us to fight these unfounded allegations."

Diocese Enforces Rigorous Policies To Keep Children Safe

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 26,000 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 (www.gbdioc.org) under the section titled "Protecting Our Children." CLICK HERE for more information on Diocesan policies for "Protecting Our Children."

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Who We Are

The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay works to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ by helping people in need and by providing academic, leadership and spiritual formation opportunities to parish and school leaders. Established in 1868, the Diocese is composed of 345,000 Catholics in 16 counties: Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Forest, Kewaunee, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago.

Contact

Deacon Ray DuBois
Director of Communications
Phone: (920) 272-8213
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Amber Backus
Communications Coordinator
Phone: (920) 272-8209
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