A bankruptcy case filed by the Catholic Diocese of San Diego has been dismissed by a federal judge, the Associated Press reports.
The bankruptcy request was filed in February just hours before the diocese's first sexual abuse was to begin. Bishop Robert Brom said bankruptcy protection was needed to continue the church's work while still trying to compensate abuse victims.
The request to dismiss bankruptcy proceedings was made by the diocese as part of a $198 million settlement reached in September between the diocese and 144 people who say they were sexually abused by priests.
After dismissing the case on Thursday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler shed tears and scolded the diocese. She criticized the diocese for being "disingenuous" in its presentation asking parishioners to help fund the financial settlement. Judge Adler, herself a parishioner, received one such request and said that it did not accurately represent the diocese’s assets.
Rodrigo Valdivia, a diocesan spokesman, said church officials were disappointed by Adler's comments and called the financial breakdown accurate. Other church officials said the fundraising drive was legitimate because the diocese had insufficient funds to pay the settlement without relying on individual parish assets.