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Milwaukee Archdiocese Filing for Reorganization


February 18, 2014
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The sexual abuse scandal has been very detrimental to the financial interests of the Roman Catholic Church, and it appears the damage is not yet over. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has announced that it will set aside $4 million under its proposed bankruptcy reorganization plan, in order to end its proceedings under U.S. bankruptcy law, according to the Journal Sentinel. Archbishop Jerome Listekci told Charlie Sykes of WTMJ 620-AM that the $4 million would be made available to victims with eligible abuse claims, for therapy, and for the pastoral care of its flock. In addition to the $4 million, the archdiocese could also use its property as collateral for a loan to further compensate victims. However, Listecki said that the archdioceses’ assets are relatively small. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy back in 2011, claiming the pending sexual abuse lawsuits had left it with debts that it was unable to pay. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is not the only one to file for bankruptcy protection in recent years, and indeed has been one of more than a half-dozen, according to the Star-Tribune. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, Mont., joined that group in late January, when it filed for bankruptcy protection as part of a proposed $15 million settlement for victims of sexual abuse, according to CBS News. The financial reparations aren’t the only aspect of the deal, as the diocese also has to publicly apologize, publish the names of clergy member who have been accused of abuse, offer to meet with victims, provide counseling and reinforce policies to prevent similar incidents in the future. With the Catholic church still feeling the impact of the sexual abuse scandal, these two are likely not the last dioceses that may file for bankruptcy.