In Bankruptcy Proceedings, Norwich Catholic Leaders Move for All Records to be Sealed, SNAP Worries that Important Information on Abuse Will Be Concealed
A mere day after a Connecticut Catholic Diocese filed for bankruptcy protection as a result of lawsuits for child sexual abuse and cover-up, attorneys for the Church have gone even further and filed a motion to ensure that all information, financial and otherwise, in this case is sealed and redacted. To us, this motion is a clear and public example of Catholic officials using bankruptcy court as a means to protect their secrets, not just their money.
In our view, an entity that is claiming poverty and applying for bankruptcy protection should not be able to also hide its financial records from the public. If an organization, institution, or business is truly indigent and unable to pay their creditors, that should be easy enough to prove to the community. We feel that this motion from the Diocese of Norwich underscores our main complaint about the Catholic Church and bankruptcy court: that it is used not because of a lack of funds, but because they can misuse the court process for a lack of transparency.
We call on Catholic officials in Norwich to explain their pressing need for secrecy and to do so publicly. We also encourage anyone who was hurt within the Diocese of Norwich to find the courage to speak up now as their information could help not only themselves, but other survivors and children.
CONTACT: Michael McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267) 261-0578 ), Gail Howard, SNAP Connecticut Co-Leader ([email protected], 203-644-0387 ), 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)