Diocese of Norwich, CT Declares Bankruptcy, SNAP Responds
Yet another Roman Catholic diocese has declared bankruptcy as a result of claims for child sexual abuse and cover-up. We believe that this move is more about protecting church secrets than it is about a lack of assets and we hope that parishioners and the public will demand better of their church leaders.
The Diocese of Norwich now becomes the 31st Roman Catholic entity in the US to declare bankruptcy over child sex abuse claims. In our view, bankruptcy will help the Diocese of Norwich keep information about predators and enablers hidden because it freezes the discovery of plaintiffs who are suing the diocese as a result of abuse they suffered at Academy at Mount Saint John School. This move will keep church officials from having to testify under oath and removes the obligation of defendants to honestly answer written questions called "interrogatories." In short, by declaring bankruptcy, church officials in Norwich can refuse to take responsibility for abuse and cover-ups that occurred within under their watch.
Church officials claim that bankruptcy is a way to ensure that all survivors receive a payout, but this a dodge. In reality, this is not about the cost of these cases but simply about keeping secrets, secret. We hope parishioners and the public in Norwich will join with us in voicing outrage over these legal tactics and demand that their church leaders commit to the transparency they promised so long ago.
CONTACT: Michael McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected]), Gail Howard, SNAP Connecticut Co-Leader ([email protected]), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 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)