Catholic Church Abuse: New Documents Reveal that $57 Million Spent to Hide Pedophile Sex Scandal
Jul 03, 2013 02:45 PM EDT
Milwaukee's Roman Catholic officials shielded pedophile priest while protected church funds from lawsuits during a long sex abuse scandal, according to 6,000 pages documents, which has spanned over 8 decades, as reported by Reuters.
The documents include letter and deposition testimony from Cardinal and Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, who during his time of Milwaukee's archbishop between 2002 and 2009 appealed to the the Vatican on numerous occasions to help address the fallout from the scandal.
The thousands of pages of documents related to eight decades of abuse revealed that that Dolan regularly reassigned priests who were accused of sexual molestation to new parishes, and that he also asked the Vatican permission to transfer $57 to a trust fund to protect it against court action.
The Roman Catholic Church has been hit with a series of abuse accusations and scandals, particularly in the past two decades, both in the U.S. and abroad. Reuters reported that the scandals have cost the U.S. church about $3 billion in settlements.
One document is a letter that Dolan sent to the Vatican in June 2007 requesting permission to move $57 million into a cemetery trust fund in order to protect the funds from "any legal claim and liability." The Vatican approved the transfer a month later, according to the documents. Jeff Anderson, an attorney who has represented more than 500 abuse victims, said the money was to be used to "pay off some of the offenders to quietly go away."
In 2011, Dolan filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and cited the financial drain of settling sexual-abuse claims, acknowledging missteps by the church in dealing with pedophile priests. The judge who had been overseeing Dolan's bankruptcy ordered these documents to be released.