Milwaukee archdiocese to release sex abuse files

Milwaukee archdiocese to release sex abuse files

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Archdiocese says documents related to ongoing sexual abuse lawsuits will be released by July 1.

The archdiocese said Wednesday it will post about 3,000 pages of documents on its website. It says it's not posting them immediately because it wants to ensure victims' names are not included.

Archdiocese spokesman Jerry Topczewski says one goal in releasing the documents is to help the hundreds of sexual abuse survivors heal.

The documents contain depositions from top archdiocese officials and content from priest personnel files. Victims' advocates have been seeking the documents' release for several years.

In an email to church officials, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki says he hopes the documents' release will bring comfort to the abuse survivors.


Ex-Wis. bishop: Sex abuse files will show truth

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Retired Bishop Richard Sklba says he agreed to have the Archdiocese of Milwaukee release a deposition he gave in sexual abuse cases as a way of getting out the truth.

The archdiocese announced Wednesday that it would release about 3,000 pages of documents by July 1, including depositions given by Sklba, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan -- who previously led the Milwaukee archdiocese -- and former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland.

The documents had been sought by attorneys representing about 500 people who say they were sexually abused by priests. Their advocates have accused church leaders of moving the priests around and covering up their crimes.

Sklba said in a statement that he did his best to help abuse survivors and the documents may answer questions about his actions.


Dolan: Welcomes release of Milwaukee documents

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan says he welcomes the upcoming release of documents related to sexual abuse lawsuits filed against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Dolan gave a deposition in February in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case involving the archdiocese that he once served. That deposition is among some 3,000 pages of documents that the archdiocese announced on Wednesday that it would post by July 1.

The archdiocese had been fighting release of the documents, and faced a hearing Thursday in U.S. bankruptcy court in Milwaukee. It declared bankruptcy two years ago as it dealt with about 500 sex abuse claims.

In a statement, Dolan says he was glad to give his deposition and hopes the release of the documents will help in the healing of abuse survivors.


Attorney pleased with Wis. archdiocese disclosure

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A lawyer representing people who say they were sexually abused by priests in the Milwaukee Archdiocese says he's glad the archdiocese has agreed to release thousands of sealed documents.

Attorney Jeff Anderson said Wednesday he's grateful to the hundreds of abuse survivors who stayed strong in their fight to have the documents released.

The archdiocese says it'll post about 3,000 pages of documents online by July 1.

Anderson says the victims have been seeking disclosure, exposure and closure. He says Wednesday's announcement fulfills the first two, and the focus will soon shift toward the third.

He says the next step will be to pursue "with vigor" the archdiocese's insurance companies. But he says for now he's just glad the two sides overcame a big hurdle.


Plaintiff torn over Wis. archdiocese disclosure

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- One of the plaintiffs suing the Milwaukee archdiocese says he has mixed feelings after learning the archdiocese will release thousands of documents related to sex-abuse allegations.

Billy Kirchen of Milwaukee says he's glad people on the outside will get a chance to see what happened behind the scenes. But the 46-year-old says the documents won't reveal anything he didn't already know about how church officials mishandled abuse claims.

The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they were victims of sexual abuse, but Kirchen granted permission to use his name.

The archdiocese says it'll post the documents online by July 1, to help abuse survivors heal.

Kirchen says his choir director at a Milwaukee parish assaulted him for five years beginning in the 1970s when he was about 11.

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