In a major development in its bankruptcy, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee announced Wednesday that it will make public thousands of pages of documents detailing its handling of clergy sex abuse cases dating back decades.
The decision - a reversal for the archdiocese - came on the eve of a scheduled hearing at which U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley was expected to order the release of at least some of those records, which are under seal.
The release of documents has been a primary objective of victims in the hundreds of clergy sex abuse cases around the country, including the Milwaukee bankruptcy. Both the archdiocese and attorneys for victims heralded the decision as a significant step toward transparency and healing for abuse survivors.
"My hope is by making these documents public we will shed much-needed light on how the archdiocese responded to abuse survivors over the past 40-plus years, and that they will aid abuse survivors and others in resolution and healing," Archbishop Jerome Listecki said in a letter to parishes, schools and church leaders on Wednesday.
Attorney Jeffrey Anderson, who represents most of the 570-plus men and women with sex abuse claims in the bankruptcy, called it "a great day for survivors and a gian...