Statement of SNAP Regarding a Motion to Dismiss the Federal Bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of New Orleans

The legal counsel for the Abuse Survivor’s Creditors Committee filed a motion Friday, July 3rd, to dismiss the Archdiocese of New Orleans Chapter 11 bankruptcy on the grounds of “bad faith.” The attorneys also claimed that the Archdiocese pursued this bankruptcy to gain a litigation edge over current and future sexual abuse survivors’ claims for justice.  The lawyers cited two cases from the Fifth Circuit where defendants used this tactic to gain such an advantage.

The Archdiocese's Vicar of Finance, Fr. Patrick Carr, stated in the proceedings that the archdiocese is financially solvent.  Archbishop Gregory Aymond reiterated the same publicly. When someone tells us who they are, we should believe them.  So, if the Archdiocese of New Orleans is NOT bankrupt, why did it file for bankruptcy?  It seems clear to us that diocesan officials are hiding something. It seems equally clear that Catholic leaders are not telling us the truth about the decision to declare bankruptcy.

The people of New Orleans -- and the 400,000+ Catholics who support this archdiocese -- deserve the truth.  Archbishop Aymond was supposed to be deposed on May 28th to discuss the roles he and his four predecessors played in covering up the sex crimes of the priests that they supervised.  This was not going to be a backroom deal.  It was supposed to take place before counsel and a judge, with the archbishop was under oath to tell the whole truth “so help me God.”

The May 1st bankruptcy filing stopped the good people of New Orleans from learning the truth about the Catholic spiritual leaders who were all appointed by Rome.  We deserve to hear the truth.  Parishioners who invest money and donate their time and lives to the archdiocese should insist that Archbishop Aymond do the right thing.  He needs to testify to the truth and not hide behind high priced corporate lawyers who have over generations been paid millions of dollars to deny justice to survivors of clergy sexual abuse in the New Orleans Archdiocese.

We urge Judge Grabill to grant this motion. We are paying attention.

CONTACT: Kevin Bourgeois, SNAP New Orleans (neworleans@snapnetwork.org, 504-376-5445), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org)

(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)


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