Bankruptcy Judge Says Church Officials Will Stay On Topic

7/16/11 – Victims of sex abuse by Catholic priests cannot use the bankruptcy court to grill two former top leaders of the Milwaukee Archdiocese. Bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley ruled Friday that retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland and retired Auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba will only testify if they have to answer questions about the specific question at hand – the financial problems of the Archdiocese. The church filed for bankruptcy a few months ago, saying it’s under heavy financial restraints due to the past-and-future settlements to priest abuse victims. Those settlements have already totaled in the millions. Attorneys for abuse victims have tried for years to force a deposition from Sklba, who’s been called the key figure in Milwaukee’s sex abuse scandal. Weakland said in a deposition three years ago that Sklba was his quote, “go-to guy” in the church’s handling of abuse cases. Attorneys for the church’s creditors said both Weakland and Sklba need to give depositions now due to their advancing ages. But the judge agreed with the church that there’s no risk that either man’s about to die or start losing his memory. Kelley is scheduled to hear more arguments in the bankruptcy case on August 12th. The Milwaukee Archdiocese is comprised of ten southeast Wisconsin counties including Dodge County.