Milwaukee Archdiocese enters bankruptcy mediation

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has agreed to enter mediation with its creditors in bankruptcy court.

Most of the creditors are victims or alleged victims of sexual abuse by clergy or church workers.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that the decision signals that one of the largest Catholic Church bankruptcy cases in the country could be coming to an end. The decision comes amid rising legal fees after weeks of settlement talks.

The archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2011 to deal with sex abuse claims. Nearly 500 men and women claim they were sexually abused as children.

U.S. bankruptcy judge Randall Newsome of San Francisco will be the mediator. Mediation is expected to start July 20.