In bankruptcy dealings, Helena diocese sets alternate example

Marie Rohde  |  Feb. 22, 2016, National Catholic Reporter

Bishop George Thomas admits that when his already struggling diocese in Helena, Mont., was hit with 30 lawsuits because of decades-old sexual abuse by priests, his instincts were to fight.

But that defensive posture fell away after he visited a victim's home for a family dinner, he said.

"I realized how soul-searing this has been for him," said Thomas, who has worked in community mental health. "While the abuse was decades ago, the suffering is in the present."

Eventually, the diocese faced 362 claims of sexual abuse and filed for bankruptcy, like a dozen other American dioceses have done. Unlike many of the others, Helena took  . . . 

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