July 22, 2005

Tucson Diocese Emerges From Bankruptcy

The Day

Published on 7/22/2005

Tucson, Ariz. — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson was the second in the nation to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because of sex abuse claims against priests, and now it looks to be the first one to emerge.

But whether it now will serve as a model for similar negotiations in other dioceses, as Bishop Gerald Kicanas hopes, is an open question.

At least in the short term, it seems unlikely to have much impact on two more acrimonious diocesan bankruptcies playing out in Portland, Ore., and Spokane, Wash., according to bankruptcy experts and other specialists who have followed the sex abuse scandals plaguing the Catholic church. And the leader of a major victim's advocacy group expressed disappointment with the settlement.

Still, Sam Gerdano, executive director of the American Bankruptcy Institute in Alexandria, Va., said the Tucson case shows what's possible if all sides are determined to reach a deal.

“Everybody had an eye on the ball, which is important,” he said. “The eye has not been on the ball in the other cases.”

Posted by kshaw at July 22, 2005 08:23 AM