Cardinal Dolan welcomes release of Milwaukee documents, defends his leadership there [CWN]

New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan has welcomed the release of thousands of documents by the Milwaukee archdiocese, showing the response of Church leaders there to sex-abuse …

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Cardinal Dolan is a top-flight Archbishop, and I know he would never be involved in anything wrong. Glad the release of these documents show the world he’s one of the good guys. :thumbsup:

Before you draw any conclusions about how great Cardinal Dolan is, you may want to read other sources about the documents turned over today.

From the AP

In his June 4, 2007, letter to the Vatican, Dolan said the cemetery fund money would still have to be used to care for cemeteries if placed in a trust. But, he added: “By transferring these assets to the Trust, I foresee an improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability.” news.yahoo.com/records-dolan-warned-vatican-sex-abuse-scandal-193306028.html;_ylt=A2KJ2PZfONNRc2MAtQzQtDMD%20%20target=

The amount reported (in various articles) was 57 million dollars. That would have been money given to the victims and their families. In stead, it was transferred to a ‘trust’ and then the Archdiocese of Milwaukee filed for bankruptcy. So if you believe he did the right thing by protecting money rather than the victims, I guess he is a great guy. The bankruptcy court may think otherwise though.

I don’t think he’s going to be so happy these documents are public.

First, there is the hiding/transferring money thing, as per above.

But there is also the fact that…as far as I can see from the documents…he knew about specific priest/s who were abusing children and sent a report to the Vatican…and he waited another three years–after no response from the Vatican all that time-- to send a follow up report on the same preist/s with new allegations…

It was good that he was trying–he also tried to convince these priests to retire…but in those three years, he could have done something to stop more children from being hurt. He could have gone to the police. He should have. This is a criminal act.

He tried through the “proper” channels and the higher-ups ignored his please, so going to the police would have been the right thing to do.
How could he have let those three years go by in good conscience? Knowing that this priest/s was continuing to abuse?

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I hope this doesn’t turn into a bishop-bashing gossip thread.

I don’t believe that we are ‘bishop-bashing’ by stating what various news agency’s are reporting. That is not my intent.

CG

Sure seems like your intent

Hang on a second about that one.

When you buy a funeral plot, you not only are paying for the real estate, you are paying for “perpetual care” for that real estate.

So if that $57 million for that trust was left accessible to the lawyers, then the ones who would be directly hurt by that would not be the “archdiocese”… the ones hurt would be the deceased and their loved ones.

I don’t know if the exact amount of $57 million was the right amount to put in trust or not…and that is a reasonable discussion to have (I would think that the goal would be for the cemeteries to be able to operate of the proceeds of that principal and that the principal would only be tapped into if there was some major disaster)

And as for That would have been money given to the victims and their families.let’s just make sure the record is straight on that one, too. Lawyers don’t operate for free. About half of any settlement amount goes straight to the lawyer before the family even sees a dime of it. People tend to forget that little detail.

I don’t think anyone is suggesting that perpetual care of cemeteries isn’t a noble cause. What I find troubling is the possibility that the Cardinal transferred the money to the cemetery trust - not for perpetual care of the cemetery - but simply to protect it from litigation. I’ve seen the Cardinal on TV and have heard him on the Catholic Channel on satellite radio - he’s a good communicator and comes across as an affable fellow. I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt. However, when I read the letter, my first thought was that the Cardinal’s own words were rather incriminating.

Everybody knows that money heals all wounds. :rolleyes:

That’s an important point. Recently in one of the Church bulletins, it was written that someone had willed $10,000 to that Church. While the Church expressed its gratitude, they also mentioned that the legal fees involved way exceeded that amount. Will accordingly, it seems. Lawyers don’t do much pro bono work for the Church anymore.

You are quite correct. And other funds held in trust for future needs, such as retirement and other benefits for priests and staff (including parish teachers and other staff) could have been at risk.

I don’t know if the exact amount of $57 million was the right amount to put in trust or not…and that is a reasonable discussion to have (I would think that the goal would be for the cemeteries to be able to operate of the proceeds of that principal and that the principal would only be tapped into if there was some major disaster)

The fund actually existed long before it was moved into a separate trust. It appears on the Archdiocese’s annual financial reports and from 2004 to 2011 ranged between $44.7 million and $59.9 million (usually 50 million or more). The variances are likely due to market conditions, as the funds were (and are) invested in stocks and bonds. So the amount transferred to the Trust was based on what was in the designated funds at that time, according to the financial statements. Under the current arrangement, the Archdiocese gets reimbursed by the Trust for its expenses in maintaining the cemeteries.

And as for That would have been money given to the victims and their families.let’s just make sure the record is straight on that one, too. Lawyers don’t operate for free. About half of any settlement amount goes straight to the lawyer before the family even sees a dime of it. People tend to forget that little detail.

Earlier this year, the Archdiocese reported having spent around $9 million to date on legal expenses just involving the bankruptcy. The costs (legal, therapy, claims payouts, etc) involving abuse matters over the past decade or more is around $37 million. So at this point we are talking about costs to the Archdiocese (which also means to those who have contributed to the Milwaukee Catholic Church over the years) approaching $50 million.

It is not over. The final accounting and cost of the bankruptcy, which will have to include some level of payment to abused people with approved claims, could total tens of millions more. The only people likely to be satisfied after all is said and done are the lawyers. What folly!

Of course, the cost in human life and dignity is even much greater.

Are you saying the victims aren’t entitled to any money? :shrug:

The moving of cemetery funds is a wise way to steward funds for their intended purpose. When the Archdiocese of Portland moved toward bankruptcy, our Archbishop needed to establish that the property held in trust by the archdiocese for parishes belonged to the parishes on the archdiocese. Hard working innocent parishioners were not to be held liable for the crimes of priests or the mismanagement of information. The same is true for cemeteries. The land was purchased for the purpose of creating a holy resting place for the people of the diocese, not as investment property to run a diocese. Plenty of money was set aside for present and future claims for victims. Thanks be to God for wise stewards like Cardinal Dolan and our own Archbishop (emeritus) John Vlazny!

You are loosely using the word ‘victims’. Very deceptive of you. Fact: the alleged victims get very little money. Most of it goes to the trial attorneys. Another fact: most of the monies come from insurance companies, who -choose- to settle, often when the diocese involved and the accused stand ready to vigorously defend themselves.

Get your facts straight. Your use of the word “victims” is Goebbelistic “appeal to emotion”. Whether you realize it or not, that is very deceptive.

When the “victims” are faceless,nameless, unwilling to file charges in a criminal setting (where SOL is more lax) while leapfrogging straight to the civil process, using bogus psychology to circumvent SOL, unwilling to face those they accuse, using professional “victim’s advocates” to try the accused in the court of public opinion before the accused has had opportunity to due process, deliberately tainting the jury pool, etc. ad nauseum…

…no.They are not entitled to one red cent.

I challenge you to read the other side of the story before giving various news agencies carte blanche approval.

Your post as a whole is incredibly naive. Do you have any idea how often the police -were- called, and the police declined to do anything,leaving the diocese and the bishop holding the bag? I know of many instances where the actions of bishops and the Vatican was harsh and severe when civil authorities refused to do ANYTHING.

:thumbsup::thumbsup: Absolutely spot on. There was substantial focus on the victims’ healing and what they wanted as “compensation” some of which wasn’t monetary. But as a faithful steward of the Archdiocese’s assets, he was able to segregate assets that had no relationship to the offending Priests.

While understanding and sympathizing with the actual victims of this egregious behavior, I think there were a lot of opportunists both in the legal profession and “victims” who were solicited by them. The Church was targeted not simply because there was sexual abuse by Priests since this occurs in virtually every other organization and generally in a higher incidence. However the Church is a very appealing target with its financial assets and its centralized and organized management system.

I can’t help but regret the millions and millions spent on legal fees that could have been used to help the least and the lost.

Lisa

He didn’t protect money “rather” than victims, that’s a completely false assertion. He couldn’t protect the victims because what happened to them happened before he arrived in Milwaukee.

Secondly, there are misunderstandings when it comes to what a diocese may or may not own. Even though in civil law a diocese may own certain property or assets, in canon law it doesn’t belong to the diocese and can’t be used by the diocese. In this particular case, the cemetery fund is exclusively for the use of cemeteries. The diocese, under canon law, cannot use that money for anything else. When Dolan placed it in a protected Trust, he was simply aligning civil law with canon law.

You may ask why was the money not in a Trust in the first place. Its a good question, the answer to which is pretty simple: laziness. Dioceses in the USA, until recently, have not bothered to create separate corporations for various assets. The Vatican warned them going back to the early 1900’s that the “corporation sole” set up of USA churches and dioceses was not in full compliance to canon law. But apparently it was too cumbersome for many dioceses to change. The unfortunate part of that is under civil law it appears that the diocese owns far more property and assets than it really does under canon law.

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