St. Norbert Abbey releases list of clergy with credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors

DE PERE – St. Norbert Abbey released a list of priests of the abbey who have credible allegations of sexual abuse. The list was published to the abbey’s website, norbertineresponse.org, on July 19.

“In 2018, Abbot Dane Radecki turned over Abbey personnel files to Praesidium, Inc., an independent agency, for review,” according to a press release posted on the website. “The files covered the years 1966 through 2018. Praesidium, Inc. identified 19 Norbertines from St. Norbert Abbey with credible allegations of sex abuse of minors.”

Files of three priests from other Norbertine foundations were also identified, said the press release, adding that those priests’ superiors have been informed. “There are currently no Nobertines with credible allegations in active ministry outside of the Abbey.”

The names of all 22 Norbertines, along with a description of single or multiple allegations and their current status (deceased, restricted from ministry or left the abbey and ministry), are posted on the community’s website.

“As we come to understand the impact of abuse on survivors, the church needs to shift its focus from its own reputation and listen compassionately to those who have been harmed. This means that we need to respond in significantly different ways,” said Abbot Radecki. “My hope is that the release of names by our community will assist in the healing process for victims and survivors.”

In his statement, Abbot Radecki offered his apologies. “I … ask forgiveness from those abused by the Norbertines of our Abbey,” he said.

The Norbertines also encouraged anyone who has an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor to contact local police and/or Child Protective Services at (920) 448-6035. “If the allegation involves any Norbertine, call local police first, then please contact the St. Norbert Abbey Office for Safe Environment at 920-337-4311.”