Bankruptcy Judge Closes Loophole Used by Archdiocese of Santa Fe, SNAP Applauds Decision

A bankruptcy judge in New Mexico has ruled that Catholic officials can be subject to lawsuits claiming the Archdiocese of Santa Fe fraudulently transferred away assets in an attempt to avoid paying money to survivors of clergy sexual abuse. We are grateful for this ruling and hope that other judges around the country who are handling Catholic bankruptcies will allow similar actions.

We are grateful to Judge David Thuma for recognizing that transfers from the Archdiocese may very well have been attempts to shield assets and lie about the true nature of its financial position in order to deny victims recompense for the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of priests, nuns, brothers, and other church staffers. It is no secret that Catholic officials have used similar tactics in the past and we applaud Judge Thuma for taking action.  Given that nine dioceses and archdioceses have declared bankruptcy since the start of 2019, we hope that the judges overseeing each one of those cases will take a closer look at how Catholic officials have transferred assets. We believe if they do, they will also allow this question to be explored through the courts.

We hope this news will encourage others who were hurt in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe to come forward, make a report, and find help and healing.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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