In June, 1989, Bishop Sklba informed Walter of allegations of a sexual relationship which Walter denied.
In May, 1991, Bishop Sklba received a telephone report of abuse by Walter in 1979 – 1981, when the caller was 15–16-years-old.
In June, 1991, Walter admitted to an inappropriate relationship from 10 years prior and said nothing else of that sort ever happened again. In a follow-up meeting with Bishop Sklba, Walter admitted to two incidents with the same adolescent person and said those were the only two times anything like that happened. Bishop Sklba spoke with the person who made the report who said it happened five times, not two. The person also wanted a written report of what had happened with the information provided. Bishop Sklba advised the person that he would send copies of his log entries. Two days later Bishop Sklba contacted another priest who was at the parish with Walter and that priest said he knew of nothing inappropriate happening at the parish by Walter. Bishop Sklba appointed this priest to monitor the actions of Walter and informed him that he would be restricting Walter’s ministry so that he did not have unsupervised contact with minors.
Walter’s counselor was contacted by Bishop Sklba and the counselor concurred that Walter could remain in his assignment with the restriction on ministry with minors being prudent while the matter was still being investigated. A week later the same counselor reaffirmed this advice.
In August, 1991, the original reporter met with Bishop Sklba who inquired about what needs might exist at the time. The person expressed surprise that a settlement was not immediately offered as an attorney had indicated that this would probably happen. Bishop Sklba requested that all future therapy bills be sent to his office for payment. The same individual inquired about what was happening with Walter. Bishop Sklba reported that Walter’s therapist indicated that all appropriate issues had been addressed in 1979 when the incident occurred. The reporter requested a meeting with the therapist. Bishop Sklba offered therapy payment assistance and explained the therapy protocol being used.
In February, 1992, Bishop Sklba was contacted by an attorney to arrange a meeting with the attorney for the archdiocese.
In May, 1992, Bishop Sklba learned that Walter had been one of the chaperones on a school trip. He advised the other priest at the parish that such a trip was not to be permitted.
In December, 1992, Bishop Sklba was informed by the attorney for the archdiocese that a settlement agreement had been reached. The settlement was finally completed in March, 1993. Walter requested a leave of absence. He moved to Florida but was not doing any ministry not having requested or received faculties. The chancellor in Florida was apprised of Walter’s situation.
In June, 1994, Walter’s status was changed to medical leave.
In May, 1995, Walter was requested to provide information about a report from the chancellor where he was living that Walter was seen spending time with openly homosexual men. Walter denied this report and said it probably came from a pastor who did not appreciate his presence in the area.
In August, 1996, Walter requested that he be issued a celebret. Archbishop Weakland said to issue one. The same request and response occurred in September, 1998.
In June, 1999, Walter was granted disability retirement.
In March, 2001, Walter substituted for a Janesville priest for two months.
In January, 2002, Walter reported to Archbishop Weakland that the individual, with whom the archdiocese and Walter had settled, was in contact with Walter by e-mail. There were several follow-up contacts from the same person which Walter described as reconciling.
In January, 2003, Archbishop Dolan enforced and extended restrictions on ministry for Walter in writing.
In February, 2004, Archbishop Dolan advised the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that Walter would remain fully restricted from ministry and live a life of prayer and penance in his ill health.
This narrative is based on facts contained in documents related to this Diocesan priest offender.
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