United States: Two dioceses bankrupt

Source: FSSPX News


Because of new complaints of sexual abuse which may well cost it several millions of extra dollars, the diocese of Tucson, in Arizona, is contemplating declaring itself bankrupt, as the compensations paid in 2002 have put it in financial peril. On its website, Bishop Gerald Frederick Kicanas evoked the possibility of using chapter 11 of the American law concerning bankruptcy: “We are a missionary diocese with little financial means, and the compensations we have already paid have greatly reduced the possibilities of responding to new demands,” said the new bishop of Tucson, in office since March 2003.

The archdiocese of Portland (Oregon) decided on July 6 to place itself under the protection of the bankruptcy law, because it is no longer able to pay the damages and the interest to which it has been condemned for cases of sexual abuse. Chapter 11 of the American bankruptcy law allows the archbishopric to suspend the course of a lawsuit filed by plaintiffs against the priest Maurice Grammond, accused of having abused more than 50 boys during the 1980’s, and who died in 2002. The plaintiffs have demanded a total of $160 million in damages and interest in two procedures, implicating Grammond.

The spokesman for the archdiocese, Bud Bunce, declared that the activities of the archdiocese would continue as normal.