St. Louis, Mo., Feb 14, 2023 / 05:00 am
Cardinal Robert McElroy of San Diego announced last week that the diocese is considering declaring bankruptcy due to the “staggering” legal costs of responding to 400 new lawsuits brought during a three-year statewide expansion of the statute of limitations for child abuse cases.
“Bankruptcy would provide a pathway for ensuring that the assets of the diocese will be used equitably to compensate all victims of sexual abuse while continuing the ministries of the Church for faith formation, pastoral life, and outreach to the poor and the marginalized,” McElroy wrote a Feb. 10 letter to parishioners in the diocese.
“The sexual abuse of minors by priests and the way it was handled in the life of the Church constitute the greatest sin of our Church in the last century. We must and will continue to protect minors with ever deeper vigor, provide healing resources to those who have been abused, and use our diocesan assets to compensate those who were victimized. And we will never forget the harm that we have done.”
At issue, McElroy said, is a mounting number of abuse claims filed under a three-year window opened by California’s governor, which began in 2020 and expired on Dec. 31, 2022. Some of the new abuse claims brought to the diocese date back 75 years, the cardinal wrote.