Judge: Church has right to protect money from legal claims

I can’t believe this will hold up on appeal:

A federal judge in Wisconsin handed down an opinion yesterday granting the Catholic Church — and indeed, potentially all religious institutions — such sweeping immunity from federal bankruptcy law that it is not clear that it would permit any plaintiff to successfully sue any church in any court. While the ostensible issue in this case is whether over $50 million in church funds are shielded from a bankruptcy proceeding triggered largely by a flood of clerical sex abuse claims against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Judge Rudolph Randa reads the church’s constitutional and legal right to religious liberty so broadly as to render religious institutions immune from much of the law.

The case involves approximately $57 million that former Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan transferred from the archdiocese’s general accounts to into a separate trust set up to maintain the church’s cemeteries. Although Dolan, who is now a cardinal, the Archbishop of New York and the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has denied that the purpose of this transfer was to shield the funds from lawsuits, Dolan penned a letter to the Vatican in 2007 where he explained that transferring the funds into the trust would lead to “an improved protection of these funds from any legal claim and liability.”

3 thoughts on “Judge: Church has right to protect money from legal claims

  1. Announcing the grand opening of the Church of Less. You may grovel at my feet now! I will never pay taxes again, I decree it.

  2. It was a Catholic judge (probably an Opus Dei member) making a Catholic decision. Or at the very least a religious extremest.

  3. It seems that under conservative legal theory the only entities protected by the constitutions are frauds, theives and pedophiles. Citizens? Not so much . . . if at all.

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