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Diocese of Green Bay clears retired priest

Published On: Jun 16 2013 01:11:59 PM CDT
GREEN BAY, Wis. -

The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay says its investigation has cleared a retired priest of sexual abuse allegations.

The diocese issued a statement Saturday saying an investigator it hired concluded the allegations were unsubstantiated. So Bishop David Ricken has lifted all restrictions on public ministry against the Rev. Justin Werner.

Werner was accused in April of abusing a minor in the 1970s at St. Edward Parish in Mackville, near Appleton. Werner denied the allegation.

Werner is in his 80s and has been a priest more than 50 years, according to a letter to members of St. Bernard Parish in Appleton, where he served as an assistant in recent years.

The diocese has said it notified civil authorities of the allegations under its mandatory reporting policy. No charges have been filed.

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