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Judge blocks release of prelates' testimony on sex-abuse policies in Milwaukee archdiocese

Catholic World News - April 06, 2012

A federal bankruptcy court judge has refused to release the sealed depositions of two retired prelates who testified about the handling of sex-abuse complaints in the Milwaukee archdiocese.

Representatives of sex-abuse victims had sought the release of the depositions by Archbishop Rembert Weakland and Bishop Richard Sklba, saying that the testimony had a bearing on their claims that the archdiocese was hiding financial assets. Victims’ representatives were particularly anxious for release of the deposition by Bishop Sklba; they had charged that the Milwaukee archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in order to block a demand for the bishop’s public testimony in a lawsuit.

But Judge Susan Kelley said that the depositions had served the purposes of the bankruptcy court. Although she described the testimony as “scandalous,” she said that she would not release it because the depositions would reveal the identity of sex-abuse victims who preferred to remain anonymous.

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