A special commission examined allegations of the church hindering police investigations and moving priests in a region that has become the epicenter of clergy sex abuse on the continent.
In the 1980s, Milwaukee archdiocese bishops assumed priests who sexually abused minors could be cured through therapy, said Archboshop Rembert George Weakland.
Publicity surrounding the 1993 release of an earlier deposition of then-Archbishop Rembert George Weakland served as the impetus for survivors of sex abuse to unite, a movement that has dogged the Milwaukee archdiocese for 20 years.
Milwaukee lawyer Robert Elliott questioned Weakland under oath as part of a lawsuit brought by victims of Fr. William J. Effinger, a priest with a history of abuse who was eventually convicted and sent to prison, where he died.
Archbishop Rembert George Weakland of Milwaukee first heard of sexual abuse allegations related to Fr. William J. Effinger during the summer of 1979.
Fourteen years later, Effinger was charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy in the late 1980s at his home in Sheboygan, Wis. He would eventually end up in prison while close to 10 others would allege the priest abused them as children during his 30-plus years in ministry.
In a letter to the Congregation for Clergy, Cardinal Timothy Dolan sought permission for a "transfer of assets" to a cemetery fund.
Commentary: The latest scandals in the Vatican bank are only one example of what the five-person review group will have to deal with.
One priest, accused of abusing 10 minors, remained a priest for more than seven years after allegations of sex abuse were made.
Commentary: The Vatican bank remains a rich source of material for Italian journalists, conspiracy theorists and anyone else who wants to build a case for Vatican intrigue.
Lawyers representing victims of clergy sex abuse say the documents will provide greater insight into the role of the Vatican and local church leaders in the cases.
Book review: Bishop Geoffrey Robinson dares something fundamentally revolutionary in For Christ’s Sake: End Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church ... For Good.