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Merryfields Drop Punitive Claim

Merryfields Drop Punitive Claim

By Brian Miller. CREATED May 23, 2012

Appleton-- The Merryfield brothers tell the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay to keep its money.  A jury found the diocese guilty of fraud in covering up child sex abuse by former priest John Patrick Feeney, who was convicted in 2004 of sexually abusing the brothers during the 1970's. The Merryfields could have asked a jury to force the church to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in punitive damages, but did not.

In the end, the Merryfields chose not to punish the church, insisting this case was never about the money. "This was about all the remaining individuals in the diocese that have credible allegations against them that they continue to cover up for,” Todd Merryfield said.

Troy Merryfield says the Diocese's response following Monday’s ruling, shows the church is not ready to accept responsibility. “This wasn't an isolated incident and the Diocese has not changed their ways and continue cover up,” Troy said.

The Diocese released the following statement: “We reiterate our apology to the Merryfield family. We regret what occurred to Todd and Troy by then-Father John Feeney, as well as the pain and suffering it has caused them and their families. We will continue to adhere to strict Diocesan policies for keeping children safe and will continue to be rigorous in their communication and enforcement.”

The Merryfields insist that they have a lot more evidence of a cover up by the diocese, but the evidence was not admitted into trial.

Troy Merryfield is going to Nevada the coming weeks to take the stand in a suit against the Catholic Church in that state. Feeney moved to Las Vegas after leaving Wisconsin. The lawsuit claims Feeney sexually abused a boy 23 years ago while a priest in Vegas.