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Report: Milwaukee Archdiocese to budget $4M for abuse victims

Church abuse graphic.
Church abuse graphic.

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - The Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese wants to budget $4 million to compensate those molested by its priests.

The church planned to file its reorganization plan Wednesday for breaking out of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection it first sought in 2011.

Archbishop Jerome Listecki said the plan includes, "some financial compensation" to eligible victims -- along with funds for their therapy and pastoral care.

About 575 people have filed claims for compensation, saying they've been scarred from sex abuse by various priests over a period of decades.

The Associated Press first reported the size of the $4 million compensation proposal. It's only a quarter of what the Milwaukee Archdiocese paid 10 abuse victims by two of its priests in California in 2006.

Listecki says some people might be upset about the limited compensation fund, but he noted that victims would get lifetime therapy. And some of the money might be used to sue insurance companies and make them pay their clients who are victims.

Also, Lloyd's of London and some insurers recently agreed to buy back policies they sold to the church, in exchange for avoiding liability to pay part of the claims. The amount of the settlement was expected to be in the reorganization plan.

Victims were hoping to get part of a $50 million cemetery trust fund -- but Milwaukee Federal Judge Rudolph Randa ruled last year that the fund was off limits to the creditors. A creditors' committee is still appealing that ruling.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)