MILWAUKEE -

A group that represents survivors of abusive priests alleges that a letter written by Milwaukee's former archbishop provides evidence of bankruptcy fraud.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says the 2007 letter released Monday shows that the Milwaukee archdiocese shifted $57 million in a bid to hide it from bankruptcy proceedings.

In the letter, then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan asked the Vatican for permission to move the money into a cemetery fund. SNAP spokesman Peter Isely suggests that Dolan wanted to protect the money from creditors in the course of bankruptcy proceedings.

But Archdiocese spokesman Jerry Topczewski said the money was always set aside in a separate fund for cemetery care. He said moving it to a trust just formalized that.