Father Dominic Roscioli denounces disgraced Archbishop Weakland’s letter in support of former archdiocesan lawyer and Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate, Matt Flynn
SNAP Founding Member, Milwaukee
Statement by Father Dominic Roscioli of Franklin, Wisconsin
My name is Father Domenic Roscioli. I am a priest in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, celebrating 44 years of priesthood this year. I have served in parishes, hospitals, inner city street ministry in Milwaukee, and have conducted parish missions across the country. Several years ago, I was appointed the Spiritual Adviser to MACCW (Milwaukee Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women), and I continue to serve in that ministry.
My mother, Angelina, 94 years old, is a survivor of rape by a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The youngest survivor I know in the archdiocese is a teenager today. To this day, pictures of priests with a known history of sexual abuse of children adorn the walls and hallways of Catholic parishes in Milwaukee. Oswald Krusing, the priest who raped and sexually assaulted my mother, has his picture displayed at St. Gregory the Great Church in Milwaukee.
Some cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and priests have been assigned to lives of prayer, penance, and silence for what they did. I suggest that it would have been better if Archbishop Weakland had kept silent rather than rise to defend the deplorable actions and tactics of chief legal counsel to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Matt Flynn.
Weakland, as is widely known, resigned in disgrace in 2002 because of a hush money settlement paid to a young man who said Weakland had sexually abused him. The payment was covered up and concealed – even from the archdiocese. His resignation came along with the eruption of the child sexual abuse and cover up scandal in Boston, Milwaukee, and around the country. Weakland, while Flynn represented the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, systematically covered up the widespread abuse of children by priests, routinely transferring known offenders into new parishes and assignments.
Weakland continues to minimize, excuse, and falsify what over 10,000 pages of court records clearly show: he allowed priest offenders to remain in parishes where they abused other children, moving them into new assignments and concealing them from the public. He is now defending the man who was absolutely instrumental in helping him do it.
No one has made the absurd claim that Flynn actually signed any transfer order of a priest. He couldn’t. What the files clearly show is that he knew about and was involved in the transfer practice, advised Weakland about priests before and after transfers, and routinely met with some of the worst pedophile priests of the archdiocese without reporting them to law enforcement or warning parishes.
Weakland does not say differently in his letter to Flynn. In the over 10,000 pages of documents, you will not find one strong objection to this from Flynn. Instead you will read how Flynn fought zealously to help Weakland keep offenders undetected, unreported, and unprosecuted.
It is wrong for anyone to cover up child sex crimes, no matter their motives or occupation. Flynn and Weakland violated the deepest and most sacred ethical code of any profession, including my own: first do no harm.
It was wrong for Flynn to cover up sex crimes against children. Church officials who have done so should resign or be removed from office. And for the same reason, Matt Flynn should end his campaign for Governor of Wisconsin.