|Hiding Assets in a Graveyard to Cheat Victims is both a Crime and a "Sin"|
When he was Archbishop of Milwaukee, Timothy Dolan chose the dead people, placing $55 million into cemetery trust funds and out of the reach of local abuse victims suing the Church. (They want compensation for the suffering caused by childhood sexual trauma.) Dolan left Milwaukee to take the most visible post in Catholic America -- cardinal of New York City - but he could not escape his choice. The victims asked a federal bankruptcy judge to reverse him, and on Friday she did. For now the $55 million is available to settle hundreds of well-documented cases in which priests raped and sexually molested children and adolescents.
Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley discussed her decision in court on Friday, explaining that neither First Amendment protections for religion nor federal law protect the archdiocese from her authority. She sided with creditors in the bankruptcy proceedings, who said the main purpose of the 2008 transfer was to place it out of their reach. In fact the archdiocese had managed the task of mowing the grass and otherwise maintaining cemeteries for generations without a $55 million trust generating income for that purpose.