MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - In a major victory for sex abuse victims, the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese has agreed to release records showing how it dealt with child molesting priests over the last 40 years.
Attorneys on both sides of the church’s two-year-old bankruptcy case have agreed that 3,000 pages would be released July 1st on the Archdiocese Web site. And more could come out later.
The agreement was reached before a court hearing Thursday, in which Bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley was expected to order the release of at least some church records.
In a letter to parishes Wednesday, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki said the documents would, “shed much needed light on how the archdiocese responded to abuse survivors … They will aid survivors and others in resolution and healing.”
The church’s previous refusal to release the documents was a major sticking point in the bankruptcy case, in which most of the creditors are priest sex abuse victims demanding millions of dollars in settlements.
Their attorney, Jeffrey Anderson, praised the release but said more must come out.
The new records will include depositions from former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland – a key figure in the national Catholic sex abuse scandal. But it does not cover priests in religious orders and other church personnel accused of abusing kids.