Last night, the Diocese of Superior released a list of 23 priests designated as having been “credibly accused” of raping or sexually abusing children. Such a list is only as truthful as the people compiling it.

Because widespread revelations of sexual abuse of children and its coverup by church officials have destroyed public trust in the leadership of the Catholic Church, four Wisconsin dioceses, including the Diocese of Superior, have outsourced their image problem to a Texas-based corporate damage control firm, Defenbaugh and Associates. But whistleblower documents, delivered to Attorney General Kaul in January, have already disqualified at least one Wisconsin diocesan list compiled by Defenbaugh.

For example, Defenbaugh’s list of “substantiated allegations” released by the Diocese of Green Bay contains 48 names. An internal church document provided by a church insider, now in possession of the Wisconsin Attorney General, contains at least an additional 69 names.

Furthermore, Wisconsin state law includes nuns, teachers, coaches, and other Catholic employees as ministers under the supervision and authority of the Catholic hierarchy. Wisconsin’s dioceses routinely receive reports of sexual abuse perpetrated by these state-designated clergy that are not included in any of Defenbaugh’s lists. This is also demonstrated by whistleblower documents in the Attorney General’s possession.

At least two Native American boarding schools were under the authority of what is now the Diocese of Superior. This list makes no mention of the systematic sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy who participated in this cultural genocidal project. In this release, the diocese takes no responsibility for their role in this history and these crimes.

Simply listing clergy exonerates the church officials who covered up abuse, transferred accused clergy, and deceived and endangered the public. Bishop James Powers still refuses to cooperate with Attorney General Kaul’s child sex abuse investigation, even though he is required to do so by Pope Francis.

Defenbaugh and Associates were not elected by the citizens of Wisconsin to protect their children and prosecute corporations that cover up sex crimes. The one person in the state of Wisconsin who was recently re-elected to do so is Attorney General Josh Kaul.

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