After 60 Sexual Abuse Lawsuits, Diocese of Norwich (CT) Files for Bankruptcy July 18, 2021

After 60 Sexual Abuse Lawsuits, Diocese of Norwich (CT) Files for Bankruptcy

Here’s some good news for you: Another Catholic diocese is declaring bankruptcy as a result of lawsuits against sexually abusive priests.

According to the CT Examiner, The Diocese of Norwich, in Connecticut, will be “the 31st Catholic religious entity in the United States to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.”

On July 15th, the Diocese of Norwich filed a voluntary petition for bankruptcy and reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The decision to file for bankruptcy relief was difficult and only taken after two years of careful deliberation and prayer.

With nearly 60 lawsuits filed against the Diocese relating to abuse alleged to have occurred at the Mount Saint John School — a former ministry of the Diocese and residential school in Deep River to which students were sent, tuitions paid, and annual audits performed by the State of Connecticut — it became clear that the Diocese could not continue to carry out its spiritual, charitable, and educational missions while also bearing the potential costs of litigation associated with these cases.

The restructuring under Chapter 11 will require approval from the abuse victims, which is important given everything they’ve been through:

… In 2018, twenty-four men who were former students at the academy filed a lawsuit against the dioceses saying that they were sexually assaulted between 1986 and 1996, when they were between 11 and 15 years old.

In February of 2019, the diocese identified 43 priests who had an “allegation of substance” made against them regarding the sexual abuse of a minor. The diocese also settled nine abuse claims for a total of approximately $7.7 million.

Supporters will say the Diocese performs a lot of unobjectionably useful work, but none of that justifies the lifelong damage it did to dozens of boys in their care. When you’re responsible for that much abuse, the least anyone can do is take control of your assets. The Diocese isn’t going away just yet. But at least it’s facing a real punishment for once.

(Thanks to Pat for the link)

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