LAKE GENEVA, WI – In 2016, Father William C. Graham was faraway from public ministry over what the Diocese of Duluth, Minnesota, deemed a reputable allegation of abuse. In 2018, Graham efficiently sued his accuser in civil courtroom; the jury discovered for the plaintiff (Graham).
Nevertheless, the diocese saved him away from public ministry. In keeping with 2018 assertion launched of the diocese after the decision was recognized:
The diocese was not a celebration to [Graham’s] a lawsuit that was began by Father William Graham in opposition to a personal citizen. The dedication of the diocese is to the security of kids. In that vein, after an intensive and deliberate course of, Father Graham was decided to have been credibly accused of abusing a minor, and was consequently faraway from ministry. Bishop Sirba stands by that call, which was affirmed by the Vatican. The decide within the case dominated that the diocese didn’t have to supply the paperwork of its inner investigation to the courtroom. We proceed to hope for all concerned.
Graham printed assertion to me in 2020:
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The Diocese of Duluth has not adopted its personal printed coverage, as discovered on the diocesan web site, relating to allegations of clergy sexual abuse. At no time, previous or current, have I obtained the assessment board’s evaluation and recommendation on this matter. I used to be by no means interviewed by the assessment board. Certainly, I don’t even know the names of the members of the audit committee and thus, there isn’t any manner of impartial, unfiltered contact with the audit committee.
I’m appalled that I’ve been given no thought as to why the frivolous accusation of Terrence J. Davis was handled by the late Bishop Paul D. Sirba as in some way credible, or what even he meant by credible. Bishop Sirba didn’t converse to me or Mr. Davis, nor did he avail himself of the a whole bunch of hours of testimony, and the 1000’s of pages of testimony obtainable within the civil courtroom deposition that led to the jury’s unanimous resolution, a call that it was confirmed on the highest stage of the appellate stage of the State of Minnesota that Mr. Davis lied.
After prosecuting my accuser, I confronted him in a civil courtroom and proved that he lied in making the accusation in opposition to me. Not solely did an eight-person, lay jury, after three days of trial and a number of other hours of deliberation, unanimously decide that my accuser had lied; they then imposed a judgment of compensatory damages on the plaintiff.
Additional, the choice in opposition to Mr. Davis was affirmed by the Court docket in addition to upheld by the Minnesota Court docket of Appeals. Once more, there stays an entire appalling disregard for my proper to due course of, proper to protection, presumption of innocence (much more so given the thorough trial and appeals within the civil discussion board), and proper to title.
My diocese didn’t take the ecclesiastical steps vital for me to vindicate my rights in a reliable ecclesiastical discussion board. After 4 years of being held in a state of “limbo” or delay, the chief govt of the Diocese of Duluth has refused to pursue a prison course of in accordance with the authorized normal that might uncover the reality and resolve this matter ecclesiastically. Justice delayed is justice denied.
I appealed to Rome, and await their resolution.
Quick ahead to December 29, 2022. After receiving an inquiry from a reader concerning the standing of Graham’s case, I emailed Graham and obtained the next response:
I used to be certainly discovered not responsible by way of the Vatican course of, however am nonetheless awaiting reinstatement of the bishop of Duluth. Moreover, the Apostolic Signatura dominated that I stay the priest of my parish. I admire your curiosity.
The diocese didn’t reply to my request for touch upon Graham’s declare.