Pending abuse trial may trigger bankruptcy decision in Tucson diocese

.- Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson must decide whether to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the diocese by the end of the month, before a series of potentially expensive lawsuits are scheduled begin sitting before a court.

The $14-million settlement, which the diocese had reached with 10 men who said they were abused by four clergy in 2002, has left the diocese "financially strapped," the bishop said in his weekly letter to the faithful last week.

"I have said many times that settlement is my hope, interest, preference and desire, but I cannot and will not put the diocese into an even worse position than we are in now," said Bishop Kicanas, who only arrived as the new bishop of Tucson after the 2002 settlement.

"As the steward of our diocese and for the good of our parishes, I cannot agree to a settlement that would strip the diocese of everything, especially because we believe it is very likely that more cases could be filed and that more victims could come forward seeking counseling assistance," Bishop Kicanas wrote.

Though it might delay the cases to be heard Sept. 29, bankruptcy would allow the diocese to continue operating. It would also ensure that all claims - current and future - are treated equally.

However, the diocese may choose to abandon the settlement and bankruptcy avenues altogether and risk going to trial.

One of the 21 civil lawsuits pending against the diocese and scheduled to go to court Sept. 29 was filed by Anita Rodriguez, her husband and three of her sons for abuse allegedly committed by Fr. Juan Guillen, reported the Arizona Daily Star.

In August 2002, the priest was arrested on 12 felony charges of sexually abuse and sent to prison after pleading guilty to the attempted molestation of two boys, including one of Rodriguez's sons.

Bishop Kicanas has written a letter to the Rodriguez family and has publicly apologized for past abuse by the diocese's priests.

Rodriguez's attorneys have been trying to reach a settlement with the diocese, though nothing has been settled yet.

The diocese is in the process of permanently removing Guillen from the priesthood and has put his name on a public list of 28 priests who have served since 1950 and who have "credible" allegations of sexually abusing children against them.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: