Sad tactics from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Jim Stang is a bankruptcy expert. He’s been involved in nine Catholic institutional bankruptcies-more than any other attorney. In 2010, he was named “Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year.” He knows this stuff.
And according to the National Catholic Reporter, Stang says that he has “not faced anywhere near the number of challenges to claims” as in Milwaukee.
In recent years, 574 alleged victims have come forward in response to the Milwaukee archdiocese bankruptcy filing. Catholic officials are trying to toss out 400 of them.
What a particularly cruel "bait and switch" maneuver. Church officials repeatedly claim “We’re seeking bankruptcy so we can be sure we’re able to help ALL victims.” Then, after running mandatory notification ads across Wisconsin urging victims to come forward, church officials now try to disqualify 400 of them.
Again, no other Catholic institution has played this kind of legal hardball with this many alleged victims.
And while we’re on the subject of Catholic bankruptcy claims, thanks to the AP’s Rachel Zoll who got it right recently, when she wrote “Milwaukee is the eighth diocese in the U.S. to seek bankruptcy protection since the abuse scandal erupted in 2002 in Boston.”
Notice she didn’t say or assume that dioceses seek bankruptcy protection because they’re broke. That’s a common – and wrong-headed - assumption. Zoll simply states the fact, without ascribing motive.
The sun doesn’t rise each morning because many people drink coffee then. The fact that two things may happen around the same time doesn’t indicate causation.
And Catholic officials don’t declare bankruptcy because they’re running out of money. They declare bankruptcy to avoid embarrassing trials that expose the corruption of the hierarchy.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.