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Milwaukee Archdiocese paid defrocked priests

MILWAUKEE (WSAU-Wheeler News)   Former Milwaukee Catholic Archbishop Tim Dolan was under pressure by some of his own staff when he hesitated to defrock priests to cut costs. Newly-released records show that the church started pulling priests from active duty over a decade ago, if they were verified to have sexual contact with minors. However, the offenders continued to be paid as long as they were priests – up to $1,250 a month in one example.

The records show that Dolan offered buyouts to a half-dozen pedophile priests. Those priests were given $10,000 when they applied to leave, and another $10,000 when the pope dismissed them.

The records indicated that Dolan was under cost-cutting pressures by staffers of the Milwaukee Archdiocese. They said the money was better-spent on church operations, and caring for the sex abuse victims.

Dolan is now the Archbishop of New York, and was elevated to cardinal a year ago. The released records were part of a settlement connected to the two-and-a-half year old bankruptcy case in the Milwaukee Archdiocese.