Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Milwaukee Archdiocese Files for Bankruptcy

As reported this afternoon on jsonline.com and per a video by Archbishop Listecki on the Archdiocesan website, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is filing for bankruptcy today. It had been known for a long time that this was an option on the table that might one day be executed. Listecki states that the process will probably take 12-18 months. He also states that this only involves the Archdiocese and NOT any parishes. I do not see how he can make such a claim just yet. Although the parishes of the archdiocese are separate corporations, it will be up to a judge to decide just how separate our parishes really are.

In one sense, it will be good to finally have all the expenses related to the sexual abuse scandal behind us. It will also mean a payday for victims. In another sense, it leaves bad taste in my mouth. There will be the conflicting interests of preserving the structures and monies of the Archdiocese that accomplish good works with the need to fairly compensate the victims. And how exactly do you fairly compensate someone who has been raped by a priest, especially one that should have already been removed from ministry. In addition, I feel uncomfortable anytime the Archdiocese makes use of lawyers. I have nothing against lawyers per se, but dioceses usually use them with the sole purpose of protecting themselves when it comes to the issue of sexual abuse (see the movie "Deliver us From Evil"). I pray that this gut feeling is wrong in this case.

A Faithful Catholic


Dad29 said...

it will be up to a judge to decide just how separate our parishes really are

And you have citations for this assertion?

CatholicSoldier said...

Since you seem to not like the involvement of lawyers, I presume that means you don't like lawyers like Mr. Anderson who are "working" for the victims?

Terrence Berres said...

Today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Archbishop Listecki "said it would have no effect on schools and parishes, which are separately incorporated, although that would ultimately be decided by the bankruptcy judge." The "although" clause appears to be the reporters' addition, but it is at least correct that issues about the status or liabilty of parishes could be raised in the Bankruptcy Court.