Is the Vatican able to move at the speed of sound?

by Sol Reform 4 Replies latest social current

  • Sol Reform
    Sol Reform

    Pretty close to it!

    The Vatican approved Cardinal Timothy Dolan's request in five weeks.

    Meanwhile the Vatican slowly took years to allow dioceses to defrock embarrassing priests.

    Cardinal Timothy Dolan asked the Vatican for permission to hide money in case monies were awarded victims of child rapists.;

    EditorialCardinal Dolan and the Sexual Abuse ScandalBy THE EDITORIAL BOARDPublished: July 3, 2013

    Tragic as the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church has been, it is shocking to discover that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, while archbishop of Milwaukee, moved $57 million off the archdiocesan books into a cemetery trust fund six years ago in order to protect the money from damage suits by victims of abuse by priests.

    Cardinal Dolan, now the archbishop of New York, has denied shielding the funds as an "old and discredited" allegation and "malarkey." But newly released court documents make it clear that he sought and received fast approval from the Vatican to transfer the money just as the Wisconsin Supreme Court was about to open the door to damage suits by victims raped and abused as children by Roman Catholic clergy.
    "I foresee an improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability," Cardinal Dolan wrote rather cynically in his 2007 letter to the Vatican. The letter was released by the Milwaukee Archdiocese as part of a bankruptcy court fight with lawyers in 575 cases of damage claims. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011. The law bars a debtor from transferring funds in a way that protects one class of creditors over another.
    The release of about 6,000 pages of documents provided a grim backstage look at the scandal, graphically detailing the patterns of serial abuse by dozens of priests who were systematically rotated to new assignments as church officials kept criminal behavior secret from civil authority.
    It is disturbing that the current Milwaukee leader, Archbishop Jerome Listecki, said last week that the church underwent an "arc of understanding" across time to come to grips with the scandal - as if the statutory rapes of children were not always a glaring crime in the eyes of society as well as the church itself.
    Cardinal Dolan was not a Milwaukee prelate during most of the abuse cases, but he faced a costly aftermath of troubles and warned the Vatican in 2003: "As victims organize and become more public, the potential for true scandal is very real." The documents showed how the Vatican slowly took years to allow dioceses to defrock embarrassing priests. Yet the same bureaucracy approved Cardinal Dolan's $57 million transfer just days after the Wisconsin court allowed victims' damage suits.
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    Tuesday, July 02, 2013 Timothy Dolan: Still Protecting Rapists and the Catholic Church

    After years of listening to the Catholic Church sing their Deny, Deny, Deny song, this week a box of files was released by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee that shows that back in 2007, anti-gay Cardinal Timothy Dolan, then the archbishop there, requested permission from the Vatican to move nearly $57 million into a cemetery trust fund to protect the assets from victims of pedophile priests who were demanding compensation.
    Let's get that queer: Dolan asked the Vatican for permission to hide money in case monies were awarded victims of child rapists.
    Still Cardinal Timmy, now the archbishop of New York, denied that he tried to hide funds, and, again, reiterated his denial in a statement just this week that these were "old and discredited attacks." But, the files contain the actual letter, written by Dolan in 2007, to the Vatican in which he explains that by transferring the assets, "I foresee an improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability."
    The Vatican approved the request in five weeks.
    The sickest part of all this mess, besides the fact that the Catholic Church harbored sexual predators, aided and abetted pedophiles, hid funds to avoid costly payouts in civil suits brought by the victims, is that Timmy Dolan played himself as part of the solution to this, um, problem. As the scandal grew, and continues to grow, Dolan expressed his personal outrage at the harm done to children; he apologized; he pledged to help the church and the victims heal.
    Then he asked for permission to hide $57 million. I guess he wasn't lying when he said he wanted to help the church; and, perhaps, help himself, since now he is Archbishop Dolan.Victims of pedophile priests are now calling for a federal investigation into the actions of then-Cardinal Dolan and his predecessors; Dolan, perhaps to deflect criticism, says he welcomes the release of the documents.
    The current archbishop of Milwaukee, Jerome Listecki-who planned to release the documents before a judicial hearing-did release a letter he wrote, warning Catholics in his archdiocese that the documents could shake their faith: "Prepare to be shocked. There are some graphic descriptions about the behavior of some of these priest offenders."
    Such as the fact that the files contain documents from the personnel files of 42 clergy offenders with "substantiated" allegations, going back 80 years. Such as, the Reverend Lawrence Murphy, who is believed to have molested some 200 boys during his 25 years of teaching; and Sigfried Widera, who faced 42 counts of child abuse in Wisconsin and California. Murphy died in 1998, and Father Widera committed suicide in Mexico in 2003.
    In that letter to his flock, Archbishop Listecki said the documents showed that 22 priests were "reassigned to parish work after concerns about their behavior were known to the archdiocese," and that 8 of those "reoffended after being reassigned."
    The release of these new documents comes from a case filed in bankruptcy court between the Milwaukee Archdiocese and 575 men and women who have filed claims against it alleging that priests or other church employees had sexually abused them.
    The archdiocese of Milwaukee, saying it was the best way to compensate the victims and resolve the controversy, filed for bankruptcy in 2011, becoming the eighth Catholic diocese in the United States to do so. Negotiations between the two sides in Milwaukee broke down once the church began arguing that some 400 of the 575 cases are invalid.
    In January, the archdiocese said it had spent about $9 million in legal and other fees in the bankruptcy process and was going broke.
    Going broke? What about the money that Dolan hid away? What does that say about The Church and their stance on pedophile priests?
    It says the same old thing, that the Catholic Church, and men like Dolan, is only out to protect the Church and not the children.
    If in any other part of society, you came across an organization that harbored men who raped children, and then the organization moved those men to other jobs where they raped again, and the leaders of that organization began hiding money in fear of monetary judgments against them, we'd all be raising quite a ruckus.

    So, why is that the Catholic Church gets to hide rapists and money and no one, notably the members of the Church, are demanding answers?

  • fakesmile

    while im not suprised, i doubt for one second that anyone would believe that the vatican is too broke for lawsuit money. id be like, "give me that big fountain in vatican square and the jesus walking stick that the pope carries. and a pair o' them red shoes for da boys."

  • Sol Reform
    Sol Reform

    Abuse victims ask Vatican to reconsider archdiocese cemetery funds

    By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

    Nov. 26, 2013

    The Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee, which faces more than a dozen civil fraud lawsuits over its handling of clergy sex abuse cases, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January.

    As the case proceeds, we'll have updates, analysis, documents and more. In a move intended to bolster a potential settlement between the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and sex abuse victims, victim advocates are asking the Vatican to rescind a decision that allowed then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan to shield $57 million in cemetery funds from legal liability in 2007.

    The Survivors and Clergy Leadership Alliance, a newly formalized organization of priests and survivors of clergy sexual abuse, announced Tuesday that it was sending the request to the Vatican. The action comes as the archdiocese is working on a reorganization plan to exit its bankruptcy that will be funded in part by an undisclosed settlement it reached with one of its insurers this month.

    The withdrawal of the Vatican's nihil obstat, or no objection, to Dolan's plan to move the $57 million into a newly created trust could allow creditors' attorneys to pursue those funds for a potential settlement. In 2007, Dolan, now cardinal of New York, sought Vatican approval to move the funds to protect them "from any legal claim or liability," according to a document released in July as part of the bankruptcy.

    "It's apparent from the tone of Dolan's letter that his intent in moving the money was in anticipation of the bankruptcy," said Monica Barrett, an alliance member who says she was raped by the late Father William Effinger at his Lake Geneva parish when she was 8. "Ordering that money back as an asset of the bankruptcy affects not only the financial outcome for survivors, but the perception of the Catholic Church as a whole," Barrett said.

    Jerry Topczewski, chief of staff for Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki, said voiding the Vatican approval for the transfer would have no effect on the availability of those funds because the funds were always segregated for the perpetual care of cemeteries. Timothy Nixon, the attorney representing the trust and Listecki as its sole trustee, said that while victims have a right to seek Vatican action, "this is a matter that should be decided by the courts, based on the law."

    U.S. District Judge Rudolph T. Randa ruled in July that forcing the archdiocese to tap the cemetery trust to fund a sex abuse settlement would violate its free exercise of religion under the First Amendment and a 1993 law aimed at protecting religious freedom. That question is now before the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    The archdiocese is nearing the three-year mark on its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, filed in January 2011 to deal with a looming financial crisis brought on by its handling of sexual abuse cases over the decades. Of at least 10 Catholic bankruptcies filed to date, Milwaukee's has become one of the most costly and contentious as the archdiocese and creditors wrangle over which victims should be compensated and what assets should be used to pay for any settlement.

    A significant development appeared to emerge this month when a group of insurers agreed to buy back policies they sold to the archdiocese as a way to minimize their liability, and negotiations with a second insurer are ongoing. The archdiocese and attorneys for the creditors committee declined to divulge the dollar figure, but the alliance letter to the Vatican suggests victims do not expect it to be substantial.

    "It does not bode well for survivors," said Peter Isely of the alliance and the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, who noted that settlements elsewhere ranged from $220,000 to $800,000 per victim. "If it turns out they've spent more on lawyers than on payments to survivors, that will speak volumes." Read more from Journal Sentinel: ;

    with audio

    Clergy Abuse Victims Group Ask Pope To Give $57 Mil. To Settlement Fund By Chuck Quirmbach Enlarge image Credit Sulfur (CC-BY-SA) / ; St. Stanislaus Church in Milwaukee.

    During the now almost three-year-long Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy case, abuse victims have tried to reverse a transfer of $57 million to a cemetery trust fund.

    A coalition of clergy abuse victims and clergy is asking Pope Francis to put $57 million into a potential settlement fund with Wisconsin victims. Listen 1:33 The Milwaukee Archdiocese says the money is already set aside for use at cemeteries. In 2007, then-Milwaukee archbishop Timothy Dolan got the Vatican’s approval to transfer $57 million of archdiocese money into a Catholic cemetery trust fund.

    During the now almost three-year-long archdiocese bankruptcy case, abuse victims have tried to reverse that transfer, but a federal district judge in Milwaukee has blocked the reversal. The court's decision is being appealed, but a coalition of victims and clergy has also written the Vatican, asking that it put the $57 million back in the archdiocese's main fund.

    Abuse victim Monica Barrett says the Vatican may not have been told the full story in 2007, and she says she remains hurt by Dolan’s move. ''One again this archdiocese has chosen something behind closed doors, that affects many, many people,” says Barrett. Barrett says she only recently found out that the $57 million is just for eight cemeteries and seven mausoleums the archdiocese owns, and not for parish cemeteries in the 10-county archdiocese.

    Archdiocese spokesman Jerry Topczewski says the number of cemeteries shouldn't be the question; the need for perpetual care is. “When someone talks about how much will it take to fund something, the answer has to be, ‘Well, how long is forever?’” says Topczewski. Topczewski says the $57 million came from crypt and cemetery plot sales and was always informally set aside.

    The letter to the Vatican comes as abuse victims say the church and its insurance company is drafting a potential settlement plan for victims and other creditors and not allowing the victims any input. The church says the groups potentially owed money are being kept informed.

  • designs

    Amazing that it was discovered, whoever did their sleuth work- Well Done!

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Dolan should resign. If he does not, the lay people in New York should demand his resignation. I heard Mahoney talk about immigration reform. He impressed me. It turns out that his conduct in sexual abuse cases was so bad that he could not participate in electing the new pope. As a New Yorker, I should be able to respect the cardinal of NY. Now this one should leave as in pack up your bags and leave. He is living in a palace behind St. Patrick's. This will be interesting. The New York Times would not dare report this matter unless it was factual.

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