Is the Milwaukee archdiocese too broke to pay its legal bills? / National Catholic Reporter

The Milwaukee archdiocese has filed for bankruptcy, but is it too broke to pay its legal bills?

“Currently, the archdiocese has paid or owes just shy of $14 million in legal and professional fees related to the bankruptcy. As the debtor, the archdiocese is required by federal law to pay the legal expenses of those who have filed claims as well as its own lawyers. Lawyers for the archdiocese filed a 63-page statement to back up a $204,451 bill for the month of June alone.

“The legal bills are far greater than the $4 million the archdiocese offered survivors of sex abuse before filing for bankruptcy on Jan. 4, 2011. That prompted Peter Isely, the Midwest director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and one of the Milwaukee claimants, to question whether the archdiocese’s actions are consistent with what Pope Francis has said.

‘Although it is unclear what this pope is doing or not doing on the issue, one thing that is perfectly clear is that paying lawyers three to four times what they have offered victims is directly opposite to this pope’s pontificate,’ Isely said. ‘He has said that victims have a right to and must be justly compensated.’”

By Marie Rohde, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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