SNAP, Milwaukee Archdiocese react to document release

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Victims of clergy sex abuse called Monday, July 1st a day they have long-awaited, as thousands of pages of secret church documents and depositions were released. The documents and depositions detail the Vatican’s role and the role of the Milwaukee Archdiocese in sex abuse cases involving clergy.

Meanwhile, SNAP, the Survivor's Network for Those Abused by Priests says it will ask for a federal investigation into allegations of fraud against Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who was Milwaukee's Archbishop when he told deposers he, with the Vatican's permission, in 2007 transferred $57 million in Archdiocese funds into a cemetery trust to protect it from sex abuse victim lawsuits.

"Cardinal Timothy Dolan, when he was in Milwaukee, who was to be the pastor and shepard of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and especially -- especially to victims of childhood sexual abuse, to whom he made to us direct promises that he was going to be truthful, that he was going to bring healing to this Archdiocese -- today`s documents, especially the letter he wrote to the Vatican shows he set up a cemetery trust to shield those assets," Peter Isely with SNAP said.

The Milwaukee Archdiocese says the money was always designated for cemeteries, and in 2007, it was formalized into a trust.

"What Archbishop Dolan did in 2007 is formalize it into a trust under the state of Wisconsin statutes. So that money has always been separate. It`s always been separate from the Archdiocese,"

As a demand for a federal investigation is sent to the U.S. Attorney's Office, for many victims, it is about the emotion the release of these documents brings.

"For years when we told the Archdiocese about the crimes that were committed against us, we were either told we were liars or that we should keep it to ourselves,"

SNAP this week is expected to release a letter to the U.S. Attorney's Office, calling for a federal investigation.