I don’t even know if this qualifies as news anymore, but the Archdiocese of New Orleans announced on Friday that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in large part due to all the sexual abuse of children:
The move was necessitated by the growing financial strain caused by litigation stemming from decades-old incidents of clergy abuse as well as ongoing budget challenges. The unforeseen circumstances surrounding COVID-19 have added more financial hardships to an already difficult situation.
Even that statement seems a bit dismissive. It’s the litigation, not our actions. The child rape was decades-old, not recent. They’re giving off the impression that they’re victims in all of this, not the kids who were forever traumatized because of what the priests did to them.
If it matters, the move affects the administrative side of things, not the Catholic Church in practice.
At least that’s a silver lining. The people who have come to rely on the Church won’t be punished because of the leadership’s actions (or inactions, as it were).
The Archdiocese’s action will not affect individual church parishes, their schools, schools run by the various religious orders, or ministries of the church. These offices will continue daily ministry as usual.
Another upside to filing for bankruptcy? They say it will “allow funds to go directly to victims instead of funding prolonged, costly litigation.” That’s because when you file for bankruptcy, there’s an automatic stay on cases involving people suing you. The court will figure out what assets the Church has (and can sell off), then decide who gets priority in terms of getting paid. Abuse victims will likely be at the top of that list.
“I strongly believe that this path will allow victims and survivors of clergy abuse to resolve their claims in a fair and timely manner,” said Archbishop [Gregory M.] Aymond. “No parish funds will be used to settle claims. It is a pastor’s responsibility to decide how parish funds should be used to support parish ministry and this process preserves that principle.”
Yeah, well, thoughts and prayers. Hard to feel bad about the financial bankruptcy of an institution that went morally bankrupt long ago.
(via Religion Clause)