Just to give you a head’s up…
Over the upcoming weeks, you might hear frequent accusations about my seven years as Archbishop of Milwaukee by tort attorney Jeffrey Anderson, who is representing claimants in the current bankruptcy proceedings in that wonderful archdiocese.
Those who are familiar with Anderson’s usual tactics tell me we can figure to hear repeated charges about my “irresponsibility.” It seems he believes that it helps his case if my name is muddied, no matter how unjustly.
You may have already seen two of his preposterous charges have already made headlines here and in Milwaukee.
One claims I “hid” $130 million of archdiocesan assets. As I commented when I heard of this incredible slur, I did no such thing. Yes, I returned – at the insistence of our auditors and lay finance council — $70 million of parish savings (not archdiocesan money) back to the people to whom it belonged. And, yes, I made sure the $60 million of “perpetual care funds” for our Catholic cemeteries was, as demanded by state law, secure.
Two, he finds fault with me for asking the Vatican to laicize an abusive priest. Seems I acted “too slowly” – even though the priest had already been removed from ministry long before, and was not allowed to act as a priest – and that I was only worried about “scandal” – even though the perpetrator’s victims had told me they were, in fact, “scandalized” that the priest had not been laicized. He includes the now-obligatory punch to the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, even though the future pope “defrocked” the abuser at my request. Can’t win!
Keep in mind that some of those now lined-up against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee have stated in the past that they would “sue the s—“ out of the archdiocese, and would not stop until an “out of business” sign was posted in front of every parish, school, and church charitable center.
Given such motives, don’t be surprised by further frequent attacks on me. Although, sadly, some media here and in Milwaukee seem to give these groundless attacks immediate publicity, I do not intend to spend a lot of time responding to them.
I’d be happy to provide the truth to the respected bankruptcy judge, if so asked.
Sorry to bother you with all of this, but I want to keep you posted.
Thanks. A blessed Lent!