New York diocese bankrupt over sexual abuse lawsuits

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The Diocese of Rockville Center, in New York, it declared bankruptcy because it could not cope with the dozens of lawsuits for sexual abuse of minors, making it the largest diocese of the Catholic Church in the United States to declare bankruptcy due to these scandals.

Bishop John Barres assured that the decision was not “taken lightly” and considered that “it is the best way to ensure justice and an equitable solution for all those involved, including the survivors of abuse, whose compensation will be resolved in court “.

No money or alms

The Diocese of Long Island welcomes Chapter 11 of bankruptcies, by not being able to face the costs of all the pending litigation and after having compensated more than 300 victims since 2017.

According to Barres, the insurers decided not to face the organization’s costs with the increased demands And that has precipitated resorting to bankruptcy protection.

The drop in collections, which normally account for 40% of the diocese’s income, due to the closure of churches and religious services due to the covid-19, also accelerated the bankruptcy process of the largest Catholic diocese in the United States, after other dioceses in the state of New York – Siracusa, Buffalo and Rochester – also resorted to suspension of payments.

They evade their responsibilities

One of the representatives of the victims, attorney Jeff Anderson, regretted the decision to apply for bankruptcy protection and accused them of evading their responsibilities with the victims.

The wave of lawsuits against Catholic Church in New York, has increased after the governor of the state, Andrew Cuomo, decided to extend the minimum age that allowed to report sexual abuse to minors and young people to 28 years.

The Diocese of Rockville Center is the eighth Diocese of United Statess, with more than 1.4 million parishioners.

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