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Bankruptcy judge to hear arguments on disclosing more priest sex abuse evidence

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A gavel sits in the Luke Air Force Base courtroom By U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Grace Lee [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
A gavel sits in the Luke Air Force Base courtroom By U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Grace Lee [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A bankruptcy judge will hold a hearing Thursday on a request to disclose evidence that would expose the scope of previous sex abuse by Catholic priests in the Milwaukee archdiocese.

Judge Susan Kelley is being asked to unseal a court deposition made several years ago by former Archbishop Rembert Weakland.

It apparently identifies the offending priests and the children they molested over the last few decades. And attorney Jeff Anderson says it would demonstrate the church’s liability as the judge considers damage claims by about 570 victims of priest sex abuse.

The claims were filed as part of the Milwaukee Archdiocese Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. And the church says Weakland’s deposition has nothing to do with the bankruptcy, and it should remain sealed.

Anderson says he’s not interested in exposing the names of those involved. He just wants to expose the scope of the abuse, and he says the names should be blacked out. But the church says that wouldn’t accomplish anything.

Parts of Weakland’s 2008 deposition have leaked out. He said he secretly transferred sex-abusing priests from parish to parish without telling the affected local church members. 

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