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Clergy abuse victims lobby Vatican on claims

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Clergy sexual abuse victims in Wisconsin and priests who support them are asking Roman Catholic officials to remove more than $50 million from a cemetery trust fund and make it available to settle bankruptcy claims against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

The group has sent a letter to the Vatican office that oversees abuse cases, asking it to undo an order that authorized New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan to create the trust fund when he was archbishop in Milwaukee.

The archdiocese faces claims from hundreds of sexual abuse victims in federal bankruptcy court.

The cemetery fund had been seen as one of its few significant assets, but a federal judge declared the money off-limits last summer, saying the trust was protected by the First Amendment’s freedom of religion.

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