Catholic Diocese Files For Bankruptcy Protection As Sex Abuse Lawsuits Pile Up

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More than 500 lawsuits have been filed in New York after the statute of limitations was extended for abuse victims.

After New York’s Child Victims Act (CVA) took effect last month, hundreds of lawsuits were filed against the Catholic Church claiming sex abuse at the hands of priests, deacons and nuns.

Now, the Catholic Diocese of Rochester has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Law & Crime.

The diocese is named in at least 59 of the cases filed since August 14 — out of a total 580 lawsuits filed statewide.

The Democrat & Chronicle reported that the Rochester diocese is the first in New York and 20th nationwide to file for bankruptcy protection as the fallout from the child sex abuse scandal worsens for the Catholic Church.

Bishop Salvatore Matano said in a statement filed in bankruptcy court that "in order to respond to claims stemming from the Child Victims Act in an equitable and comprehensive manner, and to reorganize the financial affairs of the diocese in order to permit it to continue to fulfill its ministries to the Catholic faithful."

Law & Crime noted that the bankruptcy filing “lists the diocese’s estimated number of creditors as 200-999, says its estimated assets are $50-$100 million, and says its estimated liabilities are between $100-$500 million.”

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