Bishop is asked about molestation case

Two members of a group that advocates for those who have been abused by priests called on the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita to "come clean" about his role in the case of a Wisconsin priest who molested more than 200 children.

Dean Albert, a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Tuesday that recently released church documents show that Bishop Michael Jackels was at a meeting in 1998 in which the fate of the Wisconsin priest, the Rev. Lawrence Murphy, was discussed. Jackels was a priest when the meeting at the Vatican took place.

Jackels said in a statement released after the news conference that he had no involvement in the Murphy decision.

Dean Albert and his brother, Gene, outlined the group's position in a sidewalk news conference outside diocesan headquarters near Central and Broadway.

SNAP officials said four Catholic clerics — including Jackels — met in 1998 with a top aide to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, to discuss whether Murphy would face charges in a church trial. He never did.

Albert said records showed that Jackels was a translator at the meeting. Jackels said his involvement was minimal.

"I was asked to serve as an English-language translator at one meeting where this case was discussed," he said. "I had no knowledge of or involvement in the case either before or after this particular meeting.

"I honestly have no recollection of serving as a translator for this meeting, let alone remember what was discussed during the meeting."

Albert said sidewalk news conferences also were scheduled Tuesday in Milwaukee and Superior, Wis., the homes of the other attendants at that 1998 meeting.