Church Financial Crisis

Spokane Diocese emerges out of bankruptcy


The Diocese of Spokane is expected to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, thanks to donations that are coming in from a variety of sources.

Shaun Cross, the attorney representing the diocese, says he filed the final paperwork in court late Thursday afternoon in order to emerge successfully from bankruptcy.

Funds totaling $20 million are coming from Seattle — most of it from insurance settlements. Other sources of funding are coming from the sale of the diocesan headquarters, recently sold at auction, and donations from around the country. These donations have been collected in accounts set up to help the archdiocese emerge from bankruptcy.

Spokane parishes are reportedly are doing well in meeting their $10-million contribution toward the settlement. Recently, they sent letters to parishioners asking them to donate as much as $1,000 per family.

Cross estimates the $48-million settlement could be paid by October.

The diocese had filed for Chapter 11 protection in December 2004 when faced with numerous lawsuits filed by alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests.

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