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Federal appeals judge asks how much Milwaukee archdiocese spends to maintain its cemeteries

A federal judge in Chicago is asking a lawyer how much it costs to maintain Catholic cemeteries in the Milwaukee area.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing arguments from lawyers in a case tied to the archdiocese's bankruptcy. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2011, saying it wouldn't have the money to pay if lawsuits filed by victims of clergy sexual abuse went against it.

Lawyers for those victims want about $55 million of a cemetery trust fund made available to compensate their clients.

An attorney for the fund says the Catholic faith requires the money to be used to maintain cemeteries.

Judge Joel Flaum asked Monday whether court documents show how much the archdiocese spends to maintain its cemeteries. The trust fund's attorney says they don't.

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