Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy about "priest-perpetrators"

Tue. January 4, 2011 5:02 PM by Jay Shaff

snap president barbara blaine

photo credit //
Milwaukee, WI - Today, Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki directed attorneys for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to file a petition for a Chapter 11 reorganization of its financial affairs under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

In a statement on the Archdiocese website, "This action is occurring because priest-perpetrators sexually abused minors.

"Financial claims pending against the archdiocese's means, recent failure to reach a mediated resolution with victims/survivors involved in lawsuits against the archdiocese, along with the November court decision that insurance companies are not bound to contribute to any financial settlement, made it clear that reorganization is the best way to fairly and equitably fulfill obligations," said the Milwaukee Archdiocese.

Barbara Blaine, President of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), spoke with today. "It's not about money, it's about keeping secrets" Blaine said. "The Archdiocese is terrified of what might come out in under oath testimony and explanations which would have to be given in court.

"This is about innocence shattered."

"I was raised in the Catholic Church and they can always find money" Blaine continued. "There have always been special collections when the Church needed money for one project or another. The Boston and Orange County Archdiocese' took out loans, insurers have paid. This is not about money, it's about slick maneuvers by Church lawyers to keep their secrets."

Seven other Archdiocese' throughout the country in Iowa, Oregon, Alaska, Delaware, Massachusetts, Arizona and Washington State have also used Chapter 11 protection to avoid lengthy revealing litigation.

Well over $1 billion has been paid out to victims in jury awards in the past 20 years.

SNAP's Blaine said following these bankruptcies business went back to usual in the affected churches and archdiocese'.

The sex abuse scandals by priests has been especially harmful to the perception of the gay community as many of the cases involved young boys at the hands of male priests.

SNAP is a Chicago based organization that has chapters worldwide.