MILWAUKEE — The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has confirmed that it paid suspected pedophile priests to leave the ministry.
That comes after a document surfaced in the archdiocese's bankruptcy discussing a 2003 proposal to pay $20,000 to "unassignable priests" who accept a return to the laity.
The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests characterizes the payments as a payoff and bonuses to priests who molested children. The group is calling on the archdiocese to release all records involving the payments and its handling of clergy sex abuse cases.
A spokeswoman for the archdiocese disputes the characterization as a payoff. She tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the money was meant to help the men transition back into lay life.