The Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese is saying it may not have money to pay some bills in the church's bankruptcy case. Clergy abuse victims are concerned.
The Archdiocese has filed a motion in federal court, basically saying it's projecting it won't be able to keeping paying its bills to lawyers and potentially other claims made after the bankruptcy was filed two years ago. Albert Solochek is an attorney for the Unsecured Creditors Committee, which includes abuse victims and others. He says the church's motion could have a major effect on how the bankruptcy case goes forward, “Bottom line — are they going to have the ability to pay the freight, so to speak, to go forward with their Chapter 11?”
Solocheck says so far, the church's insurers have said the Archdiocese, for the most part, doesn't have coverage on the issue. The insurance company lawyers declined comment after a hearing Thursday, (1/24) and the church's attorneys say they never talk to reporters. Peter Isely is Midwest director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. He’s skeptical about the church saying it can't pay its bankruptcy bills, “What's stunning about this is they have spent $8 million on lawyers. None has gone to victims for restitution.”
Isely is happy that bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley denied church attempts to knock some claimants from the case. But Kelley urged both sides to wrap things up. “Settle the case. Settle it,” Kelly said in court. But more hearings are scheduled.