We must raise $3,183 by March 31st to pay critical bills. Essential to continue our mission. Donate now!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Former priest, dismissed on abuse charges, suing Milwaukee archdiocese

Catholic World News - July 22, 2013

A former Milwaukee priest who was removed from ministry after being charged with sexual abuse but cleared by a jury in a civil trial, is seeking $450,000 in damages from the archdiocese.

Marvin Knighton says he was removed from the priesthood wrongfully, after a jury found him not guilty on sex-abuse charges. Church officials, conducting an independent inquiry, concluded that the charges against him were credible even if they did not meet the “reasonable doubt” standard required in civil law.

Knighton’s claim came to light in bankruptcy proceedings for the Milwaukee archdiocese. His name appears, alongside the names of sex-abuse victims, on the list of archdiocesan creditors.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our March expenses ($3,183 to go):
$35,000.00 $31,816.87
9% 91%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Canonigo Regular - Jul. 23, 2013 10:33 PM ET USA

    After 2002 there was almost hysteria among bishops. Some innocent priests were accused (for money or revenge or even for fun)and some backboneless bishops threw them under the bus, dismissing them with no real evidence against them. What are they now to do - "take one for the team"? It is thought that suing the Church violates the Bible, but I am convinced that some bishops know they dismissed innocent men just to avoid more financial liability. Maybe suits like this will make them think again.

  • Posted by: jlw5096959 - Jul. 23, 2013 4:53 PM ET USA

    There are many sexual sins which are not crimes as defined by civil/criminal law, but which would warrant removing a man from the priestly ministry. The fact that the ex-priest was acquitted in court does not mean he is fit to serve as a priest. Certainly a bishop has the right to deal with his priests on his own canonical authority, without having to face a lawsuit or justify his decision to a secular court. This seems a clear breach of the 1st Amendment right of the Church to be Church.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Scientific Evidence for the Creator 14 hours ago
A request for help from our unregistered followers March 25
Catholic movie watching is more important than watching Catholic movies March 25
Cardinal Kasper: Will flattery get him somewhere? March 25
An ecclesiastical battle over Germany March 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope announces Jubilee: a Year of Mercy CWN - March 13