Only in civil courts do lay Catholics and the broader society begin to see the true nature of Catholic dioceses and religious orders.
After all the press releases and "audited" financial statements, there remains plenty of legal head-fakes, numerous civil corporate structures intentionally created and completely controlled by the bishop or archbishop, but "separately incorporated" by tricky bishops, priests and their lawyers.
The notion is for the archbishop or bishop to hide behind a civil legal structure to "protect" diocesan assets from a forced sale. But when the deceptive legal maneuvers are peeled back in a bankruptcy court or in a litigation setting, one can quickly identify the diocese's corporate behavior for what it really is.
It's comical to listen to bishops discuss ethical decision-making in businesses or of transparency and accountability when the multiple inter-connected corporations they control and run hardly adopt such principles. See for example, reporting on the Diocese of San Diego.
Now comes the here-we-go-again case of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's Catholic Center.