Brothers win abuse case against church, turn down the money

Here’s a story for critics of clergy sex abuse court cases who say “they’re only after the money.” From the Green Bay Press Gazette:

Brothers won't seek more from diocese
Documents reveal efforts to silence family

Appleton, Wis. — Two brothers who were sexually assaulted at the hands of a priest in 1978 said their civil lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay was about bringing long-held secrets to light, not money.

Todd and Troy Merryfield, who dropped a claim Wednesday seeking punitive damages, awards handed down in civil cases as punishment for wrongdoing. They explained pulling back the church's "veil of secrecy" is far more important than the $700,000 they were awarded already in the lawsuit after a jury decided Tuesday the church had covered up its knowledge of sexual abuse committed by the Rev. John Feeney before he abused the Merryfields.

The Merryfields implored the diocese to make public all it knows about past sexual abuses committed by clergy.

"The Christian thing to do would be to say, 'Yes, we were wrong,'" Troy Merryfield said.

Read the full story.


Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here