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Religious Order Says it Failed Victims of Sex Abuse

The Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph allowed outside experts to examine its files on alleged cases of abuse by clergy.

A report released Tuesday depicts the religious order as treating many victims with hostility, over the years. The report says until 2004, most of the money the order spent on abuse cases was used to cover defense attorneys’ fees – not to help victims.

The Province of St. Joseph is a Roman Catholic order, with offices in Detroit. The order runs the boys’ boarding school in Wisconsin, St. Lawrence Seminary High School. In the 1990s, theMilwaukee Journal Sentinel uncovered abuse cases at the school, finding 14 victims. On Tuesday, the report named 14 additional victims.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says the report is a “good and important start, but much more needs to be done.”

Ann-Elise is WUWM's news director.