CNA Staff, Oct 1, 2020 / 09:30 am America/Denver (CNA).
The Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, announced it was filing for bankruptcy early Thursday morning, becoming the fourth of the state’s eight Latin Catholic dioceses to do so.
In an announcement on Oct. 1, Bishop John Barres said the diocese was filing for Chapter 11 reorganization, following more than 200 new clergy sex abuse lawsuits being filed against the diocese.
The passage of the Child Victims Act (CVA) in New York in 2019 allowed for sex abuse lawsuits to be filed in past cases where survivors had not yet taken action, long after the statute of limitations had expired.
“The diocese was not going to be able to continue to carry out its spiritual, charitable, and educational missions if it were to continue to shoulder the increasingly heavy burden of litigation expenses associated with these cases,” Bishop Barres said in a video announcement.
The CVA originally created a one-year window for these lawsuits to be filed, but due to complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the window has been extended to Aug. 14, 2021; Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) in May originally extended the window until January of 2021, and the state legislature in August moved the window seven months further.