Judges grill Milwaukee archdiocese’s attorneys on cemetery trust fund
June 03, 2014
The judges who serve on the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals grilled attorneys for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on June 2 over whether $55 million is truly needed to maintain the archdiocese’s cemeteries.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, now archbishop of New York, created the cemetery trust fund when he was archbishop of Milwaukee. The archdiocese subsequently filed for bankruptcy in 2011.
Creditors, led by sex-abuse victims, argued unsuccessfully before a lower-court judge that the cemetery funds should be included among the assets of the archdiocese that are available to pay off debts and legal settlements.
Attorneys for the archdiocese, citing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, have argued that “the Catholic faith requires the archdiocese to provide and maintain cemeteries in anticipation of resurrection when Jesus Christ comes again,” the Associated Press reported.