Diocese hires firm to review clergy files


    Diocese of Green Bay. (WLUK/Amber Luckett)

    ALLOUEZ, Wis. (WLUK) -- The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay has hired a Texas firm to review its clergy files in the wake of the Catholic Church's ongoing sexual abuse crisis.

    Danny Defenbaugh of Kaufman-Texas-based Defenbaugh & Associates, Inc. will lead the review. Defenbaugh worked for the FBI for more than 30 years, the diocese says.

    The outside review is expected to begin next month. When completed, the findings will be presented to the diocesan independent review board and the diocese's chancellor.

    The diocese expects the investigation to take "several weeks."

    Diocesan officials say they already conduct an annual review of clergy files.

    The news comes a week after the diocese announced that retired auxiliary bishop Robert Morneau would withdraw from public ministry over his handling of an abuse case from the 1970s. In that case, Morneau arranged for an apology from then-priest David Boyea to the family of a child Boyea abused. Morneau did not report that case to civil authorities, and Boyea eventually abused other children.

    Bishop David Ricken has been holding listening sessions to discuss the abuse crisis in the church. In August, he released an "action steps to accountability" initiative to address clergy abuse.

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