Church docs show priest was shuffled while abuse continued

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MILWAUKEE -- Father Daniel Budzynski is accused of molesting more than 40 young boys over 31 years, while the Milwaukee Archdiocese shuffled him around to a dozen local parishes.  For all those years, the church never told parishioners or the public what it knew.

Budzynski eventually told some of his victims that he's sorry.  And according a handwritten letter he sent to one victim, he's asked God to forgive him, too.  But when the Fox 6 Investigators called on Monday, Budzynski was in no mood to discuss it.

Bryan Polcyn/FOX 6 Investigators: "Can you explain why you continued to move from parish to parish after all of those years of sexual abuse?"

Daniel Budzynksi/Former Priest: "I tell you I have nothing to say about it."

According to documents released by the Archdiocese, Budzynski's molestation began at St. Helen's parish in 1956.  It continued at St. Hedwig's in 1962.  In 1966, Budzynski petitioned the church to become a guidance counselor at St. Paul's parish, because he was "especially interested in helping boys."

He later admitted to molesting 17 of them, including an alter boy who says Budzynski "made sure to bless us after every mass," a reference to regular sexual assaults.

But most damning is what the church hierarchy did when it learned of the abuse.  In 1969, Archbishop William Cousins urged Budzynski to "seek some help," then transferred him from St. Paul's to St. Casimir's.

When more allegations surfaced, Father Ken Metz called him to say, "Danny, you know, watch yourself."

He was then transferred to St. Berndatte.

In 1973, Archbishop Cousins finally urged Budzynski to take a leave of absense, because staying "could induce publicity that should be avoided."

Still the perversion continued for another 14 years, including one instance in which he was simultaneously engaged in sex with a young boy, his mother and her female friend.

Budzynski finally retired in 1994 with no criminal record.  And full pension benefits.

Bryan Polcyn/FOX 6 Investigators: "Don't you believe you owe at least some response or some answers to those you've harmed over the years?"

Daniel Budzynksi/Former Priest: "I've given those responses to the proper authorities already."

Budzynski was fully restricted from ministry in 1995.  He was defrocked in 2004.

In a deposition in 2011, Budzynski was asked how many boys he sexually assaulted over the years.  He did not answer, instead choosing to invoke his 5th amendment right against self-incrimination.

He has never been charged with a crime.

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