Bankrupt the church

Oakland Catholic priests molested so many children that the diocese has declared bankruptcy:

"We have limited cash reserves, and insurance may cover some of the claims," the diocese said on its website. "We are also exploring the potential sale of assets that are underutilized or may not be critical in carrying out the mission of the Diocese." [...]

The diocese is a tax-exempt corporation and has assets estimated to be worth between $100 million and $500 million, and estimated liabilities between $100 million and $500 million, according to bankruptcy filings. [...] The diocese's dozens of Catholic school affiliates are separate legal entities and will continue to open normally, the diocese said. [...]

The Diocese of Santa Rosa filed for bankruptcy protection in March, similarly because it said it did not have money to settle more than 150 child sexual abuse lawsuits. The Sacramento and San Diego dioceses are also considering bankruptcy. [...]

Dan McNevin, leader of the Oakland branch of nonprofit Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, criticized the bankruptcy practice, which shifts claims by sexual abuse victims to bankruptcy court rather than civil litigation.

"These bankruptcy actions are really designed to stiff-arm survivors by limiting their options in court," said McNevin on Sunday, before the Oakland filing. "When bankruptcies are declared, it's about freezing discovery and really focusing on money." [...]

McNevin believes the Diocese of Oakland has plenty of real estate holdings across the East Bay that could be sold to compensate victims and a bankruptcy is unnecessary. He expects lawyers for victims to challenge the bankruptcy filing. [...] "This is a business model for them," he said. "When all else fails and they're going to face justice, they declare bankruptcy."

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , ,

14 Responses:

  1. gz says:

    Oh what a shame 😭

  2. Dathes says:

    There are known cases where they transfer assets to other organizations under the church so that there is less available for plaintiffs.

  3. CSL3 says:

    I remember hearing about this place early in the (not-at-all-over) pandemic, when they were one of the many places of worship that refused to close because "muH frEE-dUmms!!" The result was exactly what you'd expect.

    The above shows they're at least consistent in causing harm to the public.

  4. The lawyers know better. Create subsidiaries to do all the wrongs but keep all the money in the parent corporation so the subsidiaries can declare bankruptcy and Mother Corporation stays solvent.

  5. ducksauz says:

    Yeah, the Catholic church is bankrupt all right... fucking morally bankrupt.

  6. Bruce Elrick says:

    "... has declared moral bankruptcy". FTFY

    I'm sure that the Catholic Church has firewalled the financial damages.

  7. CauseOfBSOD says:


    How did they manage to commit so many sex offences that they went bankrupt?

  8. Emma H says:

    The diocese is sitting on properties they can sell to pay the settlements. Declaring bankruptcy is how they are going to weasel out of paying them.

  9. George Dorn says:

    > β€œAfter careful consideration of the various alternatives for providing just compensation to innocent people who were harmed, we believe this process is the best way to ensure a fair and equitable outcome for survivors,” said Bishop Michael Barber in a statement.

    You'd think big popular organized religions like this one would have a ban against lying and spreading falsehoods, on spiritual grounds.  Like, call it a sin, maybe put it in a short list of directives to really emphasize how important it is.

  10. Rodger says:

    Meanwhile in Australia, absolute fuckery is afoot

  11. Bill Paul says:

    Am I the only one who thinks it's weird that the church can buy insurance that pays out if one of their priests molests a child? I would love it if their claims were denied as acts of god.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. But if you provide a fake email address, I will likely assume that you are a troll, and not publish your comment.

Starting a new top-level thread.

  • Previously