Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Listecki Says He's Awaiting Abuse Survivors' Offer

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

Listecki Says He's Awaiting Abuse Survivors' Offer

Article excerpt

MILWAUKEE * Archbishop Jerome Listecki said Sept. 3 that he is hopeful there will soon be a resolution to the bankruptcy that has shadowed the Milwaukee archdiocese for nearly four years. but he said it's up to the survivors of sexual abuse to give him a counterproposal to the $4 million offered for compensation.

In a rare public event. Listecki responded to questions from the media at a Milwaukee Press Club luncheon.

Creditors in the bankruptcy, filed in January 2011, include more than 500 sex abuse claimants--although the archdiocese has challenged all but 120 of the claims--who have rejected the $4 million settlement offer. Listecki said that's all the archdiocese had available.

Since then, the archdiocese has spent more than $14 million on legal fees, prompting some to question whether the initial offer was sincere. The judge hearing the bankruptcy case, Susan V Kelley. has ordered all sides to enter into mediation.

"They have not made an offer," Listecki said. "I hope they make an offer in mediation."

Shortly before leaving Milwaukee for New York, then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan transferred some $57 million into a fund for the perpetual care of nine cemeteries in the archdiocese. Kelley ruled that the money should be part of the estate. The archdiocese appealed the ruling to U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa, who said the money was off the table. That decision was appealed in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, with a decision expected in October. …

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