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Court victory for Loretto Sisters in dispute with California bishop

August 12, 2010

A California appellate court on August 10 sided with the Loretto Sisters and against Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento in a dispute over proceeds of the sale of a Catholic high school to a charter school.

In 2003, the Diocese of Sacramento and seven other donors gave the sisters “hundreds of thousands of dollars” for the expansion of the high school. In 2009, the sisters closed the school and sold it for $7.75 million.

Because their intent in 2003 was to provide for the Catholic education of high school students, the diocese and the donors argued that the sisters should repay the donations from some of the proceeds of the sales. The sisters contend that they may use the money as they see fit and say that the funds will help pay for the costs of care for retired sisters.


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  • Posted by: - Aug. 13, 2010 9:04 AM ET USA

    If I were bishop, I'd tell the "good" sisters, if they want to operate in my diocese it'll cost them oh...say...$7.75M? Otherwise they can find another diocese to haunt.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Aug. 12, 2010 2:37 PM ET USA

    I hope the Sisters of Loretto don't turn up in my parish with their tin cup in hand. Of course, they don't need to now, do they?

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Aug. 12, 2010 12:23 PM ET USA

    One has to wonder what the enrollment projections were in 2003 to rationalize an expansion. On the merits, this is the judgment that one would expect. The bar is very high (and should be) to permit donors to claw back. Where would this end? Donors to the Diocese would be suing the diocese for payments which were made to victims of pedophile priests. The donors were never told that was were the money was going for that purpose.