Intimations of a persisting streak of petty vindictiveness in the chancery of our Archbankrupt Archdiocese of Milwaukee run through an article by Annysa Johnson in this morning's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Church abuse victims criticize mediation efforts. For example,
"The woman, who repeatedly was molested between the ages of 6 and 11, said she settled in 2004 for $125,000 because the archdiocese insisted it had limited resources to pay victims.
"When she challenged that assertion years later, after learning the archdiocese was selling its Cousins Center to pay abuse claims, she said she was scolded by archdiocese Chancellor Barbara Anne Cusack.
"She told me, 'It's people like you that put the archdiocese in that situation,' the woman said."
If the Chancellor needed a squelch, it's odd she didn't use the recently-featured claim by our Archdiocese that it did not actually own the Cousins Center.
Our Archdiocese is asking the Bankruptcy Court for permission to pay out mediated settlements from its assets. Other creditors are objecting. "The woman and two other victims were called by creditors' attorneys, who hoped to block a request by the archdiocese for permission to pay $711,000 owed to 22 victims who had reached mediated settlements, and to begin mediation with two others." The court permitted limited payments, subject to later repayment into the bankruptcy if needed for its overall resolution.
"Frank LoCoco, attorney for the archdiocese, argued that none of the victims had ever complained about the mediation process previously, and that Marquette law professor Eva Soeka, who designed the mediation process, testified that she'd never had complaints about it."
Not too surprising, given this entire mediation process was created by our Archdiocese, including the selection of Ms. Soeka. It was entirely dependent on our Archdiocese, which then described it as "independent".* Once victims accepted this "take or or leave it" procedure, I don't know why they would have bothered to complain at that time. That's particularly the case since one motive for victims to settle would be to put the matter behind them.
*Here on the secular side, the mediation process and choice of mediator are subjects of negotiation between the parties.