March 17, 2005

Superior Diocese denies bishop aided Widera coverup

Duluth News Tribune

Associated Press

SUPERIOR, Wis. - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Superior says Bishop Raphael Fliss never helped cover up a priest's history of sexual abuse while serving as an administrator with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee three decades ago, as a recently filed lawsuit suggests.

The diocese issued a news release responding to the accusations in a lawsuit filed March 3 in Milwaukee County Circuit Court by two clergy abuse victims.

The lawsuit accused the Milwaukee Archdiocese of fraud and said Fliss helped with the coverup regarding the late Rev. Siegfried Widera. The male victims said that as minors they were abused dozens of times by the priest from 1973-76.

The abuse occurred after Widera had been convicted of sexual perversion with a teenager in 1973 and after the archdiocese transferred him to the St. Andrew's parish in Delavan from Port Washington without warning the public, the suit said.

Posted by kshaw at March 17, 2005 07:46 AM