SNAP wants more details in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe bankruptcy plan
(For Immediate Release June 15, 2022)
An official settlement plan in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s bankruptcy remains to be completed, but there are no serious complications, attorneys said Tuesday. Archdiocese attorney Thomas Walker told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Thuma he had hoped to have the Chapter 11 reorganization plan drawn up Wednesday for the bankruptcy case prompted by clergy sexual abuse of at least 375 people. Some details, however, still must be worked out, he said.
We would like clarification as to why diocesan attorneys are keeping survivors waiting, while in the same breath saying, ‘no complications?’ If the plan is as straightforward as they say, why has this taken years? It is statements like this from church representatives or church officials themselves that continually cast doubt on their sincerity in addressing the years of pain and hardship for survivors.
If the Diocese of Santa Fe attorneys co-signs a commitment to help survivors and create safer environments within the church, they must be transparent with what is going on with the settlement plan. They should detail what needs to be worked out. Meanwhile, church officials should immediately update their list of abusers to include the new names identified throughout the bankruptcy process and should then use every resource at their disposal to ensure parishioners and parents at each location where an abuser worked have been notified. Similarly, they should be turning over all information regarding sex crimes, regardless of the status of the abuser, to local law enforcement.
We know that no institution can police itself and so we hope that police and prosecutors in New Mexico are looking long and hard to find creative pathways toward justice for survivors and to prevent more cases of abuse in the future. A critical step in preventing abuse is ensuring that those who covered up and enabled abuse are prosecuted.
(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)