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Archbishop Listecki comments on sex abuse documents

Jaclyn Brandt

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Archbishop Listecki comments on sex abuse documents

CREATED Jul. 2, 2013 - UPDATED: Jul. 2, 2013

MILWAUKEE - Archbishop Listecki agreed to talk about the thousands of pages of documents recently released regarding the sex abuse scandal in the Milwaukee Archdiocese.

He talked with both 620WTMJ on Wisconsin's Morning News, then on TODAY'S TMJ4 with reporter Charles Benson.

He began by confronting the idea that Cardinal Dolan (then archbishop of Milwaukee) transferred funds to an account that would be protected by bankruptcy.

"Of course it was a proper transfer," he said. "Those funds continue to be set aside for the perpetual care of the cemeteries. My sense is all Cardinal Dolan was doing is being diligent as a leader."

Archbishop Listecki explained that the release of documents was an attempt to help the victims.

"One of the things immediately is we made the documents available in response to the attorneys representing the claimants in the bankruptcy," Listecki explained. "Their sense was to help the individuals understand what the archdiocese knew when it knew and how it responded to various aspects."

The archdiocese said they are attempting to move forward, while understanding the problems of their past to help heal, and make sure they can stop it in the future.

"What we have is an ongoing understanding of a situation that has literally developed over years, sometimes going back 40, 50, 60, 70 years," Listecki added. "Our understanding of child sexual abuse also during that period of time is growing, and our response then is constantly changing."

Listecki also argued the Catholic church itself has evolved over the years:

"I would say to those who are outside, we are a different church today than we were 50 years ago and that's thanks to those victims who courageously came forward to tell their story. They helped us to change."

Click on the video gallery for segments from Benson's conversation with Archbishop Jerome Listecki.