Catholic Church Found Guilty in 400 Child Sex Abuse Cases; Files for Bankruptcy; Unable to Settle Lawsuits for Victims of Pedophile Priests


Source: Neon Nettle

Published: April 2, 2017
By: Jay Greenberg
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Photo: Press Montana Roman Catholic diocese following guilty verdict on child sex abuse cases

A Montana Roman Catholic diocese has filed for bankruptcy following a court ruling finding the church guilty in over 400 cases of child sex abuse.
Church officials confirmed that the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings is unable to settle the lawsuits that have been so far been filed by 72 of the victims of pedophilia at the hands of Catholic priests.
This is the second diocese in Montana to file for bankruptcy over child abuse lawsuits in less than three years, with the total number of cases of sex abuse by priests, nuns and church volunteers reaching a staggering 760 victims since 2014 in Montana alone, with payouts from lawsuits in the tens of millions.
None of the accused in the cases are expected to face criminal charges for the sex abuse crimes, due to a large number of the culprits now being deceased, and the church traditionally handles such cases internally, with discipline usually involving a priest being relocated to a different church.
The Diocese of Great Falls-Billings said it expected to make the Chapter 11 reorganization filing, and the diocese and its insurance carriers would contribute to a fund to compensate victims and set aside additional money for those who have not yet come forward.
The Billings Gazette reports: “On behalf of the entire Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, I express my profound sorrow and sincere apologies to anyone who was abused by a priest, a sister or a lay church worker,” Bishop Michael Warfel said in a statement. “No child should experience harm from anyone who serves the church.

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“None of those who have been credibly accused are active in parish ministry and nearly all are deceased, Warfel said.
Attorney Timothy Kosnoff, who represents some of the plaintiffs, said it marked the 15th diocesan bankruptcy in the U.S. involving sex abuse claims.
“Bankruptcy represents the only realistic mechanism for working through the myriad of issues involved in a case of this nature,” he said. “Despite this sensible step forward, a speedy resolution is unlikely, and the future of the diocese remains clouded.
“The Diocese of Helena filed for bankruptcy in early 2014 to settle about 360 claims of abuse and sexual abuse by priests, nuns and lay workers who served in the diocese.

Read more at: NeonNettle.com
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