Catholic Diocese of Syracuse files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

ALBANY — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday, facing upwards of 100 lawsuits under the Child Victims Act filed over the past year.

“Without a reorganization, the Diocese and claimants will face a slow, unpredictable and costly process that would require years of court involvement. Such a protracted process would delay justice for the victims and only prolong their pain and suffering,” Syracuse Bishop Reverend Douglas J. Lucia said in a statement.

“The challenge this situation presents our Diocese is simply that one jury award could so diminish our assets that we would have little or nothing with which to resolve the other claims or carry on the important ministries of the Diocese.”

Lucia said Syracuse will implement a new “Victims Fund” charged with pooling funds from both the Diocese and insurance carriers charged with assessing the extent of coverage.

He did not name the insurance companies involved.

Syracuse becomes the third of New York’s eight Roman Catholic Dioceses to file for bankruptcy under a crush child sex abuse claims over the last year.

Both the dioceses of Rochester and Buffalo had previously filed under Chapter 11.

The CVA passed last year following pressure from advocates hopeful that Democrats newly elevated into the Legislature’s majority conference would pass legislation long opposed by the Catholic Church.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse

That opposition was eventually dropped, following bill amendments shortly before the legislation’s passage and becoming law.

It opened a one-year look-back window for victims to bring claims against abusers even if the statute of limitations had already expired.

The look-back period was supposed to sunset on Aug. 14, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended that deadline under an emergency coronavirus-related executive order until Jan. 14, 2021 after state courts stopped accepting cases in March.

The law’s passage came as a major relief to survivors, and amidst a wave of pervert priests and resignations that hit the Catholic Church.

Syracuse’s previous Bishop Robert Cunningham released a list of 57 priests in 2018 “credibly accused of sex abuse” in the Diocese, following intense pressure and scrutiny.

He retired shortly after.

“It is my hope that during this process of reorganization and following its completion, we will continue to pray for the healing of those who had been harmed during this very dark chapter of the Church,” said Bishop Lucia.

“As your Bishop, I must again, apologize for these heinous acts and ask you all to join me in our diocesan commitment that these acts will never take place again.”


Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *