Milwaukee Archdiocese Says Payments to Abusive Priests Were Act of Charity

U.S. Catholic
June 4, 2012

[minutes of the Milwaukee archdiocesan financial council]

ST. FRANCIS, Wis. (CNS) --The Archdiocese of Milwaukee claims "Christian charity" and "sound stewardship" prompted payments of at least $10,000 in 2003 to priests who had sexually abused children to seek laicization, according to Jerry Topczewski, chief of staff for the archdiocese.

Topczewski was responding to questions that arose May 30 regarding the minutes of the March 7, 2003, Archdiocesan Finance Council meeting in which council members noted that "currently unassignable priests are receiving full salaries and are budgeted under the Vicar for Clergy."

"There is a proposal to reduce their benefit to be the same as the current pension benefit, $1,250 per month, and also offer $20,000 for laicization ($10,000 at the start and $10,000 at the completion of the process)," the minutes said. "Also, they remain on our health insurance until they find other employment."

The minutes were one of a series of documents filed by the creditors' committee in the archdiocese's Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.








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