One of the claimants in the bankruptcy described the proposed settlement as "a Christmas gift for lawyers" and said it likely would not be approved by the committee of creditors.
Susan V. Kelley
Archbishop Jerome Listecki said it's up to the survivors of sexual abuse to give him a counterproposal to the $4 million he offered for compensation of some victims.
The $1.35 million will come from surplus cash but covers only a fraction of the archdiocese's legal bills so far, which total close to $14 million.
The legal bills are far greater than the $4 million the archdiocese offered survivors of sex abuse before filing for bankruptcy on Jan. 4, 2011.
Lawyers have asked the appeals court to remove a judge's decision, saying that the concern was for "his endorsement of the religious faith."
There are still major hurdles before the Milwaukee archdiocese's bankruptcy plan is presented for a vote by claimants, of whom 575 are survivors of sexual abuse.
For 30 years, the Milwaukee archdiocese has provided therapy for abuse victims. But survivors are unhappy with how therapy will be handled under the new plan.
The claimants' lawyers also asked the bankruptcy judge not to rule on the plan until an appeals court rules on the status of a hotly contested cemetery fund.
The Milwaukee archdiocese will walk away from bankruptcy relatively unscathed if its proposed reorganization plan is accepted by Judge Susan V. Kelley.
A bevy of appeals of decisions in the bankruptcy case as well as other federal and state lawsuits indicate the plan will not be the last word, however.