We’re #1, we’re #1!

Archbishop John C. Wester of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Susan Montoya Bryan/Associated Press

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe in New Mexico said that it had reached a $121.5 million settlement agreement to resolve a bankruptcy case that stemmed from clergy sex abuse claims, one of the largest such settlements involving the Catholic Church in the United States.

The proposed settlement would be used to compensate survivors of sexual abuse…

The settlement affects approximately 375 claimants, Dan Fasy, a lawyer who represents 111 of the victims, said on Wednesday. It is among the top five payouts in abuse litigation involving the Catholic Church in the United States, according to BishopAccountability.org, which tracks abuse cases against the church…

In New Mexico, about 74 priests have been described as “credibly accused” of sexually assaulting children, while the priests were posted to parishes and schools by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, according to The Associated Press…

The archdiocese said the settlement money would be used exclusively to compensate victims and would not be used to cover the archdiocese’s legal costs or other expenses related to the bankruptcy case.

While we’re discussing solutions, it might be more relevant to examine what programmatic changes are being made within this organization to prevent anymore recurrences of what is damned near a tradition.

3 thoughts on “We’re #1, we’re #1!

  1. Father Flotsky says:

    (AP 2018): New Mexico’s largest Catholic diocese has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent months on lawyers to fight claims of clergy sex abuse and to prepare for a potentially lengthy battle in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. https://www.seattletimes.com/business/bankruptcy-filing-provides-rare-window-into-diocese-finances/
    The Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s petition for reorganization provides a rare look into the finances of a religious organization that for decades has been wrestling with the financial and social consequences of a scandal that rocked churches across the country.
    Archbishop John Wester describes the filing as an equitable thing to do as church reserves dwindle. He says compensating the victims is a top priority.
    National watchdog groups and attorneys for victims of clergy sex abuse said Tuesday the archdiocese’s actions suggest otherwise.
    They point to the money spent by the archdiocese on lawyers over the last three months and the tens of millions of dollars in real estate that has been transferred to parishes in recent years, effectively reducing the amount of assets held by the archdiocese.
    In its bankruptcy petition, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe claims nearly $50 million in assets, including real estate valued at more than $31 million.
    The filing also states that more than $57 million in property is being held in trust for numerous parishes and property transfers worth another $34 million were done over the past two years. State records also show that individual parishes were incorporated as part of an effort that started in 2012 under Wester’s predecessor.
    The archdiocese formed the nonprofit Archdiocese of Santa Fe Real Estate Corp. in December 2012, according to records filed with the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office.
    State records also show that the archdiocese incorporated most of its 92 parishes as nonprofits in 2012 and 2013.

  2. Holy Moolah says:

    Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi to be mortgaged to help pay settlements to sex abuse victims https://www.abqjournal.com/2511214/cathedral-basilica-in-santa-fe-to-be-mortgaged.html
    Parishes will collectively need to borrow up to $12 million to cover the gap in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s $75 million share of the bankruptcy settlement, according to the letter. The archdiocese is asking each parish to pay up to $691 a month on the debt, or up to $104,727 total.
    The archdiocese is working to secure financing from two Catholic lenders – the Catholic Order of Foresters and the Notre Dame Federal Credit Union.
    The archdiocese must pay $65 million by the end of September, and the remaining $10 million by the end of next March.

    • Apostate says:

      Archbishop John C. Wester announced in an Archdiocese of Santa Fe news release Monday that he is reinstating obligatory Sunday Mass attendance and all “Holy Days of Obligation” for New Mexico Catholics …because of decreasing COVID-19 risks.

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