Court documents filed in the bankruptcy case for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee appear to have revealed over 8000 incidents of child molestation not previously reported. New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is about to be elevated to Cardinal, is the former Archbishop Of Milwaukee. Some suspect Dolan of having hidden over $130M in church funds in order to avoid massive court-ordered child molestation settlements.
Archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf said she did not have enough information to respond to the assertion, made by attorney Jeffrey Anderson during a pivotal hearing before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley. Anderson represents about 350 of the 570 victim-survivors who have filed claims in the case. But Peter Isely of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests speculated that some are likely members of religious orders, such as Capuchins or Franciscans. Order officials do not typically make public the names of their accused members, and the archdiocese claims it is not responsible for them, though they have historically helped to staff its parishes and schools. “This is a public safety crisis, a child safety crisis that needs to be investigated,” Isely said at a news conference on the federal courthouse steps, surrounded by fellow survivors and reporters. “We need to know who they are and where they are. How can there be 8,000 crimes committed by over 100 offenders and there be no accountability?” he said.
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has vigorously sought the dismissal of molestation charges against several priests, arguing that the statute of limitations on their crimes has expired. (Tipped by JMG reader Tom)