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Helena diocese will emerge from bankruptcy stronger, bishop says

Catholic World News - March 03, 2014

Bishop George Thomas of Helena, Montana, has said that bankruptcy proceedings will leave the diocese poorer, but in a stronger position.

In February the Helena diocese filed for federal bankruptcy protection, becoming the 11th American diocese to take that step in the wake of the sex-abuse scandal. The diocese hopes to conclude the bankruptcy process within several months, and reach an agreement with sex-abuse victims that will require payment of at least $2.5 million in compensation.

The bankruptcy will leave the diocese with heavy debts to its parishes, which had contributed to a revolving loan fund that is badly underfunded. Bankruptcy will enable to diocese to make a fresh start, the bishop observed.

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