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UPDATE: Few Milwaukee clergy abuse victims get large sums

UPDATED Friday, July 5, 2013 --- 7:15 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- An Associated Press analysis of clergy sex abuse documents released this week in Milwaukee shows that while most of the $30 million the archdiocese paid out through mid-2012 went to victim settlements and therapy, the bulk of it went to just a few people.

The archdiocese released the records as part of a deal with victims suing it for fraud in federal bankruptcy court.

The documents cover 88 settlements worth at least $6.6 million and provide the first detailed look at which victims were paid, how much and when.

The records show few settlements before 2003. Even after then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan started a mediation program in 2003, most Wisconsin victims got about $50,000.

In contrast, 10 California residents abused by Milwaukee priests shared a nearly $16.7 million settlement in 2006.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Wednesday, July 3, 2013 --- 10:30 a.m.

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) -- Documents released by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on sexual abuse of children by priests show the incidents often occurred on overnight trips.

The Duluth News Tribune reports that of 42 priest files released Monday, 22 contain references to molestation on camping trips, a cross-state bicycle ride and at least one Caribbean cruise.

The newspaper says geographic details aren't always specific. Many incidents are noted vaguely as occurring "up north" -- a generalization that sometimes refers to suburban Milwaukee, sometimes Wisconsin's northern counties, but more often left unidentified.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf says it's difficult to determine a pattern from the records, such as any propensity by priests to molest children on trips. She says policies have been in place since the early 2000s to protect children on church trips.

Copyright 2013 : Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, July 2, 2013 --- 7:34 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Newly released documents show New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan repeatedly warned the Vatican office responsible for handling clergy sex abuse of the potential for scandal in Milwaukee and urged it to defrock abusive priests.

Dolan, who was archbishop of Milwaukee at the time, also oversaw a plan to pay some priests to voluntarily leave the priesthood.

The documents were made public Monday as part of a deal reached in federal bankruptcy court between the archdiocese and victims suing it for fraud.

In one letter to the Vatican, Dolan describes a priest repeatedly abusing children, showing no remorse and at least once engaging in sexual activity with a young boy, the child's mother and her female friend.

It still took the Vatican more than a year to defrock the man.

Copyright 2013 : Associated Press

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UPDATED: July 1, 2013 --- 6:15 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A group that represents survivors of abusive priests alleges that a letter written by Milwaukee's former archbishop provides evidence of bankruptcy fraud.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says the 2007 letter released Monday shows that the Milwaukee archdiocese shifted $57 million in a bid to hide it from bankruptcy proceedings.

In the letter, then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan asked the Vatican for permission to move the money into a cemetery fund. SNAP spokesman Peter Isely suggests that Dolan wanted to protect the money from creditors in the course of bankruptcy proceedings.

But Archdiocese spokesman Jerry Topczewski says the money was always set aside in a separate fund for cemetery care. He says moving it to a trust just formalized that.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Monday, July 1, 2013 --- 2:52 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Former Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan sought to push problem priests out of the priesthood to avoid further scandal after sex abuse victims began coming forward in the early 2000s.

Many victims in Milwaukee began coming forward in 2002 after news broke about clergy abuse in Boston.

Dolan wrote to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, in July 2003 asking to dismiss Daniel Budzynski.

Abuse allegations against Budzynski stretched to the 1970s, and Dolan told Ratzinger in correspondence made public Monday that "as victims organize and become more public, the potential for true scandal is very real."

The Vatican removed Budzynski from the priesthood in 2004.

Dolan's letter is part documents the Milwaukee archdiocese released Monday. Dolan is currently the cardinal of the New York archdiocese.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, July 1, 2013 --- 1:17 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Documents in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's bankruptcy case show the Vatican gave then Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan permission to move money into a trust as the archdiocese began to move toward bankruptcy.

Dolan wrote to the Vatican in 2007 and asked permission to move $57 million for cemetery care to a trust, saying it would provide "an improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability."

Attorneys for clergy sex abuse victims have accused him of trying to hide the money as the archdiocese planned to prepare for bankruptcy. The archdiocese denies those allegations.

The Vatican responded less than a month later, granting permission.

The archdiocese released the documents Monday. Dolan is now a cardinal in New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, July 1, 2013 --- 1:15 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has released thousands of pages of documents related to clergy sex abuse.

The records posted on the archdiocese's website Monday include priests' personnel files and depositions of church leaders.

The documents are being made public as part of a deal between the archdiocese and sex abuse victims suing it for fraud. Victims say the archdiocese transferred problem priests to new churches without warning parishioners and covered up priests' crimes for decades.

Victims say making the information public is an important step in their healing.

But the collection also has drawn interest because of the involvement of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the former archbishop of Milwaukee and -- as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops -- the nation's most prominent Roman Catholic official.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Posted Monday, July 1, 2013 --- 7:07 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is expected to release thousands of pages of documents related to clergy sex abuse.

The documents expected to be made public Monday are part of a deal in federal bankruptcy court between the archdiocese and sex abuse victims suing it for fraud. The court set a July 1 deadline for the release.

The archdiocese has said the records will include priests' personnel files and depositions of church leaders.

The collection has drawn interest because of the involvement of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the former archbishop of Milwaukee and -- as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops -- the nation's most prominent Roman Catholic official.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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