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Report: At least 23 Capuchin Franciscans involved in sex-abuse incidents

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)   A Catholic religious order says at least 23 of its past-and-present friars sexually abused minors over the past 80 years – and many of those incidents were in Wisconsin.

The Capuchin Franciscans released the results yesterday of a year-long audit of abuse by its friars. The report said the actual numbers of cases could be higher, but there was not enough documentation to confirm all the incidents. The report said the Capuchins moved offending friars from one position to another, without disclosing the past abuse. They rarely reported cases to law enforcement – and they spent more on lawyers than on caring for victims.

Provincial Minister John Celichowski said the order failed abuse victims, their families, and the religious order throughout the decades. He said improvements have been made in recent years – and he admitted it could take many more years for the Capuchins to regain the trust it lost. The order is based in Detroit, with a number of local parishes in Wisconsin.