Bankruptcy courts, according to Zech, will treat all the plaintiffs as a group and make sure that they get paid based on their degree of abuse.
It is not entirely clear what Scharfenberger meant when he said last week that leaders of other Catholic dioceses have told him that a Chapter 11 filing leads to “kind of a purification, a refocus” on their mission.
His words suggested a bit of spin at work, as he tried to accentuate the positive when discussing a controversial policy consideration.
Rochester in 2019 became the first diocese in New York State to file for Chapter 11. According to BishopAccountability.org, 20 other dioceses or religious orders in the United States have done the same.
Scharfenberger said he has had conversations about bankruptcy with Bishop Salvatore Matano of the Rochester Diocese, as well as with the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which filed for bankruptcy in 2015 and three years later reached a settlement in which it agreed to pay $210 million to victims.
The Buffalo Diocese has been named as a defendant in more than 225 Child Victims Act cases – more than any other entity in the state. The act, signed into law in February 2019 after years of opposition from the Catholic Church, provides a one-year look-back period in which adult survivors of sexual abuse, up until their 55th birthday, can sue an abu...