New Orleans Archdiocese in Hot Water

News: Video Reports
by Paul Murano  •  •  March 15, 2021   

Money and sex spur 800 claimants

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News anchor: "The archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy some time ago."

The archdiocese said in a statement Thursday there were some 400 sex abuse claims and another 430 commercial claims filed against them before the court-imposed deadline.

Bishop Aymond: "It's a very tough time right now to be a Catholic in the archdiocese of New Orleans."

As part of the bankruptcy process, abuse victims had until March 1 to file a claim.

Bishop Aymond: "Nothing will change in our parishes, nothing will change in our schools; they will all be open and continuing the normal ministry that they have been doing."

Archbishop Gregory Aymond on Thursday said he hopes "these steps allow survivors of sexual abuse a path of healing." He further assured them of his prayers.

Jeff Anderson, on the other hand, an attorney who represented victims in almost all of the 27 U.S. dioceses that declared bankruptcy, believes 400 abuse claims are low for an archdiocese of this size. Anderson called Chapter 11 bankruptcy a "sinister and effective tool." He noted that given time, many more abuse victims would have come forward.

Jeff Anderson: "Survivors of sexual abuse by clergy cannot report it, cannot share that shameful, painful secret with anybody, and more often in time don't until decades later."

Creditors have argued the New Orleans archdiocese does not have financial hardship and does not need Chapter 11 protection.

Reporter: "According to bankruptcy documents the church has $100 million and $500 million in both assets and liabilities."

The archdiocese, however, said it filed for bankruptcy for two reasons: financial distress due to settlements from the abuse scandal, and revenue decreases due to pandemic restrictions in place.

Critics are slamming not only Aymond but many of the U.S. bishops for not facing the homosexual crisis present for decades in the priesthood. Reports have indicated that victims of clergy abuse have been overwhelmingly male with 80% past the age of puberty — this, even though the Church officially forbids men with deep-seated same-sex attraction to be ordained to the priesthood.

Unless bishops are held accountable for ordaining homosexual men, and unless they zealously clean up the mess this created within the body of Christ, bankruptcy may become the new normal.

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