Cardinal Dolan deposed in Milw. Archdiocese abuse lawsuits

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A spokesperson for the Milwaukee Archdiocese says Cardinal Timothy Dolan was deposed in New York on Wednesday, February 20th. He answered questions under oath about clergy sex crimes.

Dolan was one of two men deposed by lawyers representing victims in the Milwaukee Archdiocese abuse case. Dolan was Archbishop in Milwaukee from 2002 until 2009.

The Archdiocese of New York says Cardinal Dolan has been eager to cooperate.

Representatives from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee were in New York for the deposition.

"It's clear in talking with Cardinal Dolan that he was part of the solution not part of the problem and I think that`s clear looking back and history will judge all the good work that Cardinal Dolan did when he was in Milwaukee," Jerry Topczewski, Milwaukee Archbishop Chief of Staff said.

The Archdiocese says Dolan was the first to publicize the names of priests who had abused children and worked to ensure future children would be safe. The deposition was in bankruptcy court as part of the Archdiocese's Chapter 11 proceedings.

Joseph Zwilling, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of New York said in a statement, "Today Cardinal Dolan had the long-awaited opportunity to talk about his decision nine years ago in Milwaukee to publicize the names of priests who had abused children and how he responded to the tragedy of past clergy sexual abuse of minors, during the time he was privileged to serve as Archbishop of Milwaukee."

Zwilling goes on to say, "He has indicated over the past two years that he was eager to cooperate in whatever way he could, and he was looking forward to talking about the good work  and progress that took place to ensure the protection of children and pastoral outreach to victims."

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said in a statement released Wednesday evening, "We are grateful and encouraged by this. This happens all too rarely."

The statement goes on to say, "Dolan has been particularly adept at evading responsibility for his wrongdoing in clergy sex cases, having moved twice since the scandal started gaining international attention more than a decade ago."

Peter Isely with SNAP says he wants Dolan to make his deposition public.

"We`re at a very critical point here with victims. Survivors are hoping for answers from Cardinal Dolan under oath explaining his movement of money, more importantly, his movement of sex offenders.  I don`t want this deposition sealed. I want the public to see it. I want Catholics in Milwaukee to see it. I want the 570 victims that filed cases in court to see it," Isely said.

Cardinal Dolan's name has been raised as a candidate for pope.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.