Judge Timothy Wikowiak ruling against Bishop Callahan and the Milwaukee archdiocese today sends another hopeful signal that clergy predators and church officials in Wisconsin who covered up their crimes are going to be held accountable to victims and citizens through our courts and the rule of law. Just as Judge Cooper ruled in another case last month in Milwaukee, Wikowiak dismissed motions today by the archdiocese to keep a jury from hearing the witnesses and seeing the evidence of decades of fraud by Milwaukee bishops concerning their priest child sex predators. Today’s ruling concerns Fr. Franklyn Becker of Mayville. Becker is one of the most prolific and well documented of the archdiocesan pedophile priests. For over thirty years, Becker was caught molesting children and transferred from parish to parish, including a transfer for one year to California and back, where he assaulted children there as well.
Criminal and civil law, which has for too long given special protection to the wrong class of citizens in Wisconsin pedophile clergy and their bishops instead of children and their parents is showing some clear signs of finally reforming, especially as judges and prosecutors learn more and more about the vast nature and extent of the sex abuse cover-up in Wisconsin. Last month in Waukesha County, prosecutors arrested the 19th clergy sex offender since the scandal reemerged. Victims have long argued that this is the solution to the problem of clergy sex crimes: put clergy and bishops and church officials under the same civil laws as every other person, profession and institution and prosecute crimes against children in churches, congregations and synagogues just as vigorously as you prosecute them wherever else they occur.
To access previously secret church documents in the Becker case: