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Wisconsin Bishop Places Priest On Leave

Jan 2, 2003 | Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Madison has placed another priest on administrative leave because of accusations of sexual impropriety.

Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard said Monday the matter was investigated by the Madison Police Department and no charges will be filed.

Bishop William Bullock said he placed the Rev. Robert DeCock on leave after he received a complaint about the priest, who was working as an assistant pastor at St. Paul’s University Catholic Center, a church on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison.

Bullock released no details of the complaint.

Bill Brophy, a spokesman for the diocese, said Tuesday no details of the allegations will be released by the bishop. He said DeCock had returned to the Schoenstatt Order of priests and nuns in Waukesha, which was in charge of its own investigation of the matter.

A message left for DeCock at the Schoenstatt Order’s office was not immediately returned Tuesday.

DeCock is the third priest in the diocese placed on administrative leave this year.

The Rev. Kenneth Klubertanz, pastor of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Lodi, was removed from his job in June after Bullock was informed of allegations the priest had abused a young man 27 years ago. In August, a second accusation of inappropriate sexual contact with a teenage boy was made against Klubertanz.

On Dec. 18, Bullock said he had removed the Rev. Peter Claver Arnoue, a member of the Owere, Nigeria, Catholic Diocese, from his job as administrator of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Hollandale, after receiving a complaint. That case was referred to Iowa County authorities.

Klubertanz’s case is being studied by the Diocesan Sexual Abuse Review Board, a group established by Bullock earlier this year.

In each of the cases, Bullock followed guidelines he established when he became bishop of Madison in 1993.

In another development Tuesday, Brophy said that last month, a complaint was filed with the diocese that alleged the Rev. Michael Trainor sexually abused a child in 1980 when Trainor was a priest at St. Henry’s Parish in Watertown.

The new accuser is not among victims brought to the diocese’s attention in the past, Brophy said.

In a series of civil lawsuits against the diocese filed in the early 1990s, at least a dozen accusers said Trainor abused them as boys while working in Madison area parishes and at the now shuttered Holy Name Seminary.

The lawsuits were dismissed after a 1995 state Supreme Court ruling that raised a First Amendment barrier to courts evaluating the employment practices of the church.

Trainor left Wisconsin in 1984, after two parents confronted the late Bishop Cletus O’Donnell with evidence that Trainor had abused their sons.

Trainor entered a New Mexico facility that treated priest sex abusers, then worked in Montana parishes until 1991 when he resigned from the priesthood.

Brophy said the newest allegations against Trainor were turned over to authorities in Dodge County.

Watertown police had no record of recent allegations against Trainor and no one has come forward to police so far, Capt. Tom Killmon said Tuesday.

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