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UPDATE: Wis. priest wants pope to meet with abuse victims

UPDATED Tuesday, August 13, 2013 --- 2:41 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Wisconsin priest known for speaking out about clergy sexual abuse says that if he could speak directly to Pope Francis, the first thing he would ask the pope to do is have regular meetings with victims.

Rev. James Connell says the best way to understand what abuse victims experience is to get to know them.

He says he also would ask the pope to order church officials to speak openly about clergy sexual abuse and release all documents related to it.

Connell is among a small group of current and former priests who have been calling on the church to be more open about its handling of clergy sexual abuse. He is the former vice chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and recently retired.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


Posted Tuesday, August 13, 2013 ---9:13 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A retired Wisconsin priest is speaking out about his work with a whistleblowers group focused on clergy sexual abuse.

Rev. James Connell is the former vice chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. He also served as pastor of Holy Name of Jesus and Saint Clement parishes in Sheboygan.

Connell often joins victims of clergy sexual abuse at news conferences and has called publicly for the Milwaukee archdiocese and other church organizations to be more open about their handling of sexual abuse cases.

He is on the steering committee of Catholic Whistleblowers, a group of current and former priests, nuns and others working to shed light on abuse and church leaders' response.

Connell will speak Tuesday to the Milwaukee Press Club about his efforts.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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