550 sexual abuse claims filed against Milwaukee Archdiocese
Archdiocese sought bankruptcy protection last year, saying pending lawsuits could leave it with debts it couldn’t afford
by CARRIE ANTLFINGER 2/2/2012
MILWAUKEE — About 550 people are asking for restitution for alleged sexual abuse by clergy in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee — more than in any of the other U.S. dioceses that have filed for bankruptcy protection, according to a lawyer involved in the Milwaukee case….
The archdiocese has paid more than $30 million in settlements and other court costs related to allegations of clergy abuse and more than a dozen suits against it have been halted because of the bankruptcy proceedings. One priest alone is accused of abusing some 200 boys at a suburban school for deaf students from 1950 to 1974….
The other seven Catholic dioceses in the U.S. that have filed for bankruptcy since the clergy abuse scandal erupted in 2002 in Boston are in Davenport, Iowa; Fairbanks, Alaska; Portland, Ore.; San Diego; Spokane, Wash.; Tucson, Ariz.; and Wilmington, Del. Two other religious orders have also filed for bankruptcy.
Of the seven other dioceses that also filed for bankruptcy, the number of claims ranged from about 40 to 250, Stang said. About 535 claimants had come forward against the Oregon Province of the Jesuits, he said.