Portland, Ore., Feb 18, 2009 / 18:20 pm
The Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday following additional sexual abuse lawsuits, thus becoming the first religious order to do so.
The bankruptcy petition was filed in Portland Federal Bankruptcy Court as an additional 200 claims of sexual abuse of primarily Alaskan children were pending or threatened against the Jesuit province, the Daily News-Miner reports.
The Oregon province has 235 Jesuit priests and brothers in the five states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
Fr. Patrick J. Lee, SJ, the provincial of the Oregon Province, released a statement early Tuesday.