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Stockton diocese likely to be 10th in US to enter bankruptcy

Catholic World News - December 03, 2013

The Diocese of Stockton, California will almost certainly declare bankruptcy in early 2014.

In a letter to the faithful of the diocese, Bishop Stephen Blaire said that a final decision on bankruptcy has not yet been made, but “no viable option has emerged other than reorganizing financially under the protection of bankruptcy court."

“Moving in this direction will enable us to continue to meet our obligations to the victims of sexual abuse, to the poor and vulnerable, and to you, our people,” Bishop Blaire said.

The bishop said that the diocese would make its final decision early in 2014. He urged Catholic organizations with connections to the diocese to study their own financial positions, to see how bankruptcy might affect them, and whether the creditors of the diocese might seek their assets.

The Stockton diocese will likely become the 10th Catholic diocese in the US to seek protection from federal bankruptcy courts in the aftermath of the sex-abuse scandal. In the Stockton case, the diocese has already paid $18.7 million to settle lawsuits brought by abuse victims, and the bishop revealed that the diocese cannot afford to pay the settlements required to resolve pending suits.

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  • Posted by: nix898049 - Dec. 05, 2013 1:46 PM ET USA

    How does fining the diocese into bankruptcy right the wrongs done? I have just never understood the logic of putting a price-tag on this offense. Wouldn't pastoral care be a more reasonable demand? Isn't the offended person's soul the more important consideration? Do these people really experience compensation with the cash in hand? As meanwhile they ensure the suffering of the innocent faithful and those the diocese could have helped. There's more afoot here. Holy Mary, pray for us.

  • Posted by: shrink - Dec. 03, 2013 4:34 PM ET USA

    Stockton... Stockton... that name rings a bell! Oh yes, that's where Cdl (don't tell me about sex abuse Roger) Mahoney got his start as bishop.

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