Catholic Diocese of Green Bay Bishop withdraws from all public ministry

ALLOUEZ, Wis. - Bishop Robert Morneau requested to withdraw from all public ministry saying he regrets not reporting abuse of a minor by a priest in 1979.

Bishop David Ricken held a discussion about the incident and other similar issues happening within the Catholic Church.

Ricken said Morneau failed to report sexual abuse by former priest David Boyea.

He said this lead to Boyea abusing more minors.

In a letter written to Ricken, Morneau stated, "In light of the recent public revelations of past abuse in the church and the call for more accountability on the part of bishops, I feel that my own actions are no less subject to scrutiny than those of other bishops."

Ricken said the actions of some priests have made it difficult for the rest.

"Our priests are good. They're very dedicated. They're really striving to get through this, and they have to be there for their people, but sometimes they feel great shame," said Ricken, "It makes it very hard for them."

Ricken said he's had listening sessions with priests and church members and will continue those.

He also said anytime a victim comes to him, accusing a priest of abuse, he encourages the victims to report it, but regardless of what the victim does, he must report it to authorities.

Ricken added members of the church have expressed shame, anger, and lack of trust with the recent issues nationwide within the Catholic Church.

He's taking action steps to accountability to help the church learn and grow from this experience.

Bishop Ricken's steps are listed on The Compass.

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