2/2/12 – Over 500 people have filed claims against the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese, saying they should be compensated because they were sexually abused by priests. As part of the church bankruptcy proceedings, a deadline of 4pm yesterday was set for victims to file financial claims. The Milwaukee figure was the largest among eight Catholic regions in the U-S that had filed for bankruptcy since 2004 – and it’s about the same number involved in a Jesuit bankruptcy case that included five states. Officials in the Milwaukee Archdiocese said they were not sure how many people would file. A bankruptcy judge will now decide if each claim is valid. If so, the church will have to pay it. If not, the archdiocese says it has a 300-thousand-dollar fund to provide therapy to those whose claims are rejected. Bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley will start hearing the claims cases a week from Thursday. The Milwaukee Archdiocese is comprised of 10 southeastern Wisconsin counties, including Dodge County.