Wisconsin Sex Abuse Victim Withdraws Federal Suit Against Vatican


Posted on 11th February 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A man, who alleges that he was sexually abused by a priest at school for the deaf, has withdrawn a federal lawsuit against the Vatican, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.


The federal suit had been filed in Milwaukee by an alleged victim of the late Rev. Lawrence Murphy, who was believed to have molested as many as 200 deaf boys at the St. John School for the Deaf, which is now closed but had operated in St. Francis, Wis.

The attorney for the plaintiff in the Vatican suit, Jeffrey Anderson, also represents that same client in a bankrupty proceeding involving the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the Journal Sentinel reported. The paper quoted Anderson as saying that his client had decided to concentrate his efforts, along with other alleged sex abuse victims, “at the archdiocese level.”

The Milwaukee lawsuit against the Vatican was filed in April 2010, and was withdrawn Friday. Another lawsuit filed against the Vatican by a man who claimed he was abused by a priest was withdrawn in Kentucky in 2010, according to the Journal Sentinel.

Anderson also told the Milwaukee newspaper that his client’s decision to pull the suit against the Vatican was in part prompted by a decision by U.S. Bankrupty Judge Susan Kelley. On Thursday, she refused to dismiss two bankrupcy claims filed by victims abused in the 1970s and 1980s. 

According to the Journal Sentinel, Kelley said a trial will have to decide when a six-year statute of limitations began running on the victims’ allegations.      

Milwaukee Archdiocese Faces Bankruptcy Claims From 550 Alleged Sex Abuse Victims


Posted on 4th February 2012 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized


The magnitude of the claims is so large that it’s shocking, and sad.

Last Wednesday was the deadline to file claims against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, which is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As of the deadline, roughly 550 people have lodged sex-abuse claims againt the church, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported last week.  


Shocking as those numbers are, advocates for alleged priest abuse victims claim that the 550 understates the reality. They told the Journal Sentinel that there are many more victims in southeast Wisconsin, who feared filing or just didn’t think they could win against the archdiocese.

There will be a hearing next week, Feb. 9, on motions to dismiss claims by three men who charge they were molested as kids by a priest and choir from 1970 to the 1980s. 

The archidocese, according to the Journal Sentinel, does’t deny those particular allegations. But it still has plenty of excuses for having those claims tossed out — that they are outside the statute of limitations, include a victim who has already received a settlement, and because it claims the choir director didn’t work for the archdiocese.

The archdiocese also plans to argue that priests that were members of religious orders weren’t diocesan employees, the Journal Sentinel reported.

If the church wins on those motions, it would likely mean that many of the molestation victims’ claims in bankruptcy court would be  dismissed. That doesn’t seem quite fair, does it?