Church Official Warns of Financial Flood from Clergy Sex Abuse Claims
Category: Catholic Sexual Abuse
A top official with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe says a financial flood from clergy sex abuse claims is coming and a settlement would serve as the dam to prevent devastation to parishes across northern New Mexico.
A letter from the Rev. Glennon Jones is posted on the archdiocese’s website. It states that progress is being made in collecting donations for a bankruptcy settlement prompts by allegations of abuse perpetrated by priests and other clergy over decades.
The letter states that should the bankruptcy fail, nothing would be safe from liquidation to pay for legal costs and lawsuit settlements.
“What a tragedy it would be to lose hundreds-of-years-old churches and property to legal fees and lawsuit settlements, not to mention much of New Mexico’s cultural legacy built over centuries by donations of time, talent and treasure of your families and friends,” he wrote.
“And, perhaps worse, the loss of access in providing sacramental, spiritual and material nourishment to those in need, as well as teaching our young ones love of God, love of neighbor.”
Jones said, for example, the archdiocese used to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars to charity, but those funds have recently gone to lawyer and legal fees.
In October, a U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled that lawyers for clergy sex abuse survivors can file lawsuits alleging the archdiocese fraudulently transferred millions of dollars in property and other assets to avoid bigger payouts to victims.
That decision in the Chapter 11 reorganization case opened the door to what could be a multimillion-dollar boon to hundreds of alleged victims. It could also result in protracted, costly legal appeals that would tap funds that could have paid valid abuse claims.
Mediation is ongoing, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
See the full, original post here: https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2021/04/12/609543.htm
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