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Milwaukee Archdiocese Releases Clergy Sex Abuse Files

TheArchdiocese of Milwaukee has released thousands of pages of documents related to cases of clergy abusing people sexually.

The items include priest personnel files and depositions of church leaders, including now Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who had been archbishop of Milwaukee for several years and is now president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

There is correspondence in which Dolan either encourages problem priests to leave the clergy or seeks Vatican approval for dismissals. In some cases, neither works. He also talks of transferring millions of dollars in cemetery trust money to another fund, to protect it from potential lawsuits.

Victims of abuse call the public release of information a necessary step in their healing. Documents detail how church leaders dealt with reports of abuse, including transferring problem priests to new parishes without warning members.

The Archdiocese has filed for bankruptcy, while abuse victims are suing for fraud.