Matt C. Abbott
Wikipedia contains baseless claim about slain priest
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By Matt C. Abbott
May 20, 2019

Wikipedia is a mixed bag, for sure. Entries must always be scrutinized for accuracy. Disputes arise over use of certain news sources. Edits can be made, re-edits can be made, and users/editors (who can be anyone) can be blocked.

I'm not a Wikipedia user/editor, nor do I want to be.

On the page about the late Father Alfred Kunz, whose 1998 murder remains unsolved, a user/editor wrote: "Some locals believe, knowing the personality of Mr. Kunz [sic], that he was possibly murdered by a local who knew he had molested one of his male students at St. Michael's."


The user/editor cites a 2009 story from The Capital Times that contains no such claim. In other words, the user/editor fabricated the claim and made it appear that it comes from a legitimate news source.

I brought this to the attention of Lt. Kerry Porter of the Dane County Sheriff's Office, who responded: "As you are probably aware, there is no evidence to support the claim made concerning molestation."

Another Catholic writer commented: "That edit was most likely made with malice."

The rest of the Wikipedia entry on Father Kunz contains enough outdated information that it should either be deleted or significantly revised and updated.

Recently, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran an in-depth podcast series on the case. Click here to read and listen to the materials. It's quite interesting – and, most importantly, features well-researched and accurate information.

Update as of May 22, 2019:

Since this column was published, the baseless claim has been deleted from the Wikipedia entry. I'll continue to monitor the entry for inaccurate information.

© Matt C. Abbott

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.



(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)

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