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Dolan Hopes Release Of Documents Will Heal Sex Abuse Victims In Milwaukee

Cardinal Timothy Dolan with reporters - Feb. 11, 2013 (credit: Rich Lamb / WCBS 880)

Cardinal Timothy Dolan with reporters – Feb. 11, 2013 (credit: Rich Lamb / WCBS 880)

MILWAUKEE (CBSNewYork/AP) — Timothy Cardinal Dolan said Wednesday that he welcomes the upcoming release of documents related to sexual abuse lawsuits filed against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, where he previously served.

Dolan gave a deposition in February in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case involving the Milwaukee Archdiocese. The deposition is among some 3,000 pages of documents that the archdiocese announced on Wednesday that it would post by July 1.

The Archdiocese in Wisconsin’s largest city had been fighting release of the documents, and faced a hearing Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Milwaukee. It declared bankruptcy two years ago as it dealt with about 500 sex abuse claims.

In a statement, Dolan said he was glad to give his deposition and hopes the release of the documents will help in the healing of abuse survivors.

Last year, the Milwaukee Archdiocese confirmed it paid suspected pedophile priests $20,000 to help them transition to life outside the priesthood, and a document showed that the money-to-transition policy was formed under Milwaukee’s Dolan.

According to a document published by abuse victim’s advocates, Dolan discussed the policy during a Financial Council meeting in 2003.

The 2003 policy discussion was apparently put into practice, according to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. The group cited a 2006 document which confirmed Father Franklyn Becker was paid $10,000 to sign his laicization papers.

SNAP calls the practice a payoff to priests who abuse children.

Dolan had denied any such pay-outs at the time, calling the inference “false, preposterous and unjust.”

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