The U.S. Bankruptcy Court decided in a hearing Wednesday, June 22 that the bar date for anyone with a monetary claim against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in the Chapter 11 reorganization process will be extended to Feb 1 of next year, Jerry Topczewski said in an email communiqué sent Wednesday afternoon.

“Although we would have preferred an earlier date, we also want to be sensitive to the needs of abuse survivors,” Topczewski said, explaining that the archdiocese initially asked the court to set the date for mid-September but the Creditors’ Committee asked for a date a year from now.

“In discussion with the Creditors’ Committee, important considerations were raised about the need for abuse survivors to have enough time to come forward to make their claim….” he said. “Coming forward to make a claim is not easy for an individual survivor of sexual abuse. Working together with the committee has helped us establish a date that allows sufficient time for individuals to file claims, but also one that keeps the reorganization process moving forward.”

Topczewski said that the archbishop has said since the beginning that the goal of the process is to “provide equitable compensation for the unresolved claims of victims in clergy abuse, while ensuring our ability to carry on the essential ministries of the church in southeastern Wisconsin.”

The archdiocese remains committed to keeping all informed, he said.

“As part of the notification process, parishes and schools will be asked to help us communicate this bar date,” Topczewski said. “More information about that will follow in the weeks and months to come.”