The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed Wednesday that it paid suspected pedophile priests to surrender their clerical collars, after a document surfaced in its bankruptcy discussing a 2003 proposal to pay $20,000 to "unassignable priests" who accept laicization.The Milwaukee Archdiocese, which was able to afford $20,000 going-away gifts for abusive priests and has bemoaned "infringement of government in the practice of (its) faith," is now using that same federal government to infringe on the legitimate claims of its victims.
The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests characterized the payments as payoffs and bonuses to priests who molested children, noting it was just $10,000 less than the $30,000 the archdiocese hoped to pay victims, according to the same document.
The leader of the archdiocese at the time of the payments, then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan, is now a prominent cardinal.
Dolan then and archdiocese officials now have defended the practice as expedient--it got abusive priests out the door more quickly. And in a further display of moral repugnance, an archdiocese spokesperson blamed the survivors' organization, saying that it was the organization that wanted the priests thrown out. This follows Dolan's own efforts to discredit and delegitimize the organization.
BTW, can anyone explain why $20,000 is such a popular figure for making your "problem people" go away?