Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles announced yesterday that the archdiocese will have to sell its headquarters so that it can meet its financial obligations to “the alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse.”
The sale will include other “non-essential real estate properties” such as those previously purchased for establishing “new parishes, schools, various charitable institutions, convents, etc.” or are being “held for future parishes, future schools, and similar ministry purposes.”
The cardinal promised that “no parishes or parish schools will be closed to fund these settlements, nor will their essential ministries be affected by the sales.” The properties under consideration are not being used by parishes. Still, Mahony said, the archdiocese would prefer to retain the properties it is considering to sell.”
In December, the archdiocese settled 46 clergy abuse civil cases for a total of $60 million, of which the archdiocese contributed $40 million, said Mahony in his statement. When the settlement was made he noted that “a settlement in those cases will require the active participation of the many insurance companies who provided liability insurance during those past years when the abuse occurred.” Attorneys, judges, and Church leaders are still negotiating these settlements.
Cardinal Mahony said the “first major property to be sold will be the Archdiocesan Catholic Center,” since “it is only right that the Archdiocese begin this process by demonstrating our commitment to reach final settlement in these cases by selling our central administrative building.”
Reflecting on the way that this situation affects the Archdiocese, Mahony commented, “I have often said over the past years that God’s grace is more powerful than the evil of sinful actions.” As a result of the abuse scandal, “Our Church has become more humble, more faithful, and more centered upon our primary mission: to evangelize all peoples in the name of Jesus Christ.”