July 11, 2005

Diocese to have $22.2 million for abuse claims


By Arthur H. Rotstein
The Associated Press
Jul. 11, 2005 02:00 PM

TUCSON- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson will have $22.2 million available to settle sex abuse claims, including $14.8 million from its insurers, a church official testified Monday during a bankruptcy hearing.

The Rev. Albert Schiafano said the diocese's parishes will contribute $2 million and the diocese will provide $5.58 million of the settlement amount, all but $300,000 of that coming from a May auction of real estate holdings. The diocese generated $2 million more than anticipated in the real estate sale.

Schiafano testified Monday as Judge James Marlar began a confirmation hearing on the diocese's settlement and reorganization plan. Creditors already have voted to accept the plan, but Marlar must give his approval to the reorganization. advertisement

A total of 77 claims asserting sexual abuse by priests in the diocese have been approved or are pending, while 27 claims have been disallowed.

As a condition of the insurance companies' agreeing to settle, the diocese's parishes needed to contribute money. By doing so, the parishes agreed not to pursue separate claims against the insurers. The diocese contends that the parishes are not part of its estate assets, but they would not be protected unless they contributed to the settlement.

Posted by kshaw at July 11, 2005 05:06 PM