Milwaukee archdiocese filing includes more abuse victims in compensation plan

National Catholic Reporter

Marie Rohde | Aug. 25, 2015

Compared to preliminary reports, more sexual abuse victims will be compensated under the formal reorganization plan filed in bankruptcy court late Monday night by the Milwaukee archdiocese. But, too many are still excluded, according to the chairman of the creditors committee who said he is optimistic that the plan is still evolving.

According to the 103-page plan supplemented by nearly 300 pages of documents, about 330 victims of sexual abuse by clergy will receive more than $21 million. The plan also creates a $500,000 fund to provide therapy for all victims, including those who may come forward later. Each of the archdiocese’s 199 parishes is being assessed $2,500 to pay for it.

A hearing to confirm the plan is scheduled to begin Nov. 8.

While 33 victims were added to categories of those who will receive some payment, the creditors committee wants more included. Among those included are victims who had lawsuits dismissed in state court in the 1990s after the state Supreme Court found that the archdiocese could not be sued for negligence. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy almost five years ago just as a number of other cases were about to go to trial after the same court said the church could be sued for fraud for not removing known pedophiles.

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