Church court finds former priest guilty of sexually abusing children

WLUK Fox 11 News/September 9, 2016

By Gabrielle Mays

Green Bay -- Prayer and penance, that’s the life a former priest, found guilty of assaulting children, has been ordered to live.

The order came from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) at the Vatican.

Allegations against 72-year-old Michael Carroll came in 2002, according to the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay. The four allegations date back to the late 1970s and early '80s, according to the diocese.

Since then, the diocese says Carroll was temporarily restricted from the exercise of public priestly ministry.

The former priest presided over three parishes, St. Mary in Marion for eight years, St. Anthony in Tigerton and Holy Family-St. William in Wittenberg.

After CDF found Carroll guilty of sexually abusing children, the diocese says the former priest will no longer be able to celebrate Mass in public or give the sacraments.

The diocese says Carroll will no longer be able to wear clerical attire or present himself publicly as a priest.

Church officials say they found credible evidence supporting the allegations against Carroll and the Diocese of Green Bay started the canonical penal process.

A church trial was held, which included three canon lawyers, along with judges from outside the diocese.

Carroll was found guilty and after an appeal, he was found guilty again by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Bishop David Ricken expressed his personal regret for the pain and suffering of all those abused by Carroll and for the long canonical process, according to a press release sent out Friday.

Ricken also asked for prayers for the victim and survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

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