- Jan 28, 2020
As dioceses across the country continue to face multi-million dollar payouts related to clerical sex abuse, some bishops have relied on advice from lawyers to reconfigure the property of their dioceses into charitable trusts.
Across the country, attorneys are scrambling to file a new wave of lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by clergy, thanks to rules enacted in 15 states that extend or suspend the statute of limitations to allow claims stretching back decades. Associated Press reporting found the deluge of suits could surpass anything the nation’s clergy sexual abuse crisis has seen before, with potentially more than 5,000 new cases and payouts topping $4 billion.
A federal judge has approved a $40 million settlement between the Diocese of Duluth and dozens of people who say they were abused as children by priests.
The Diocese of Rochester was the first in New York to seek bankruptcy protection under the weight of new sexual misconduct lawsuits, but lawyers and church leaders say it may not be the last.
The Catholic Church in the United States has spent a staggering amount of money — close to $4 billion in the past 20 years — to investigate, adjudicate and prevent clergy sex abuse, and to compensate victims for the harm they’ve suffered.
In the wake of nearly 50 lawsuits filed against it since New York’s Child Victims Act took effect Aug. 14, the Diocese of Rochester filed for reorganization Sept. 12, under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.