November 17, 2005

Ore. Archdiocese May Settle Suits for $42M

Los Angeles times

By WILLIAM McCALL, Associated Press Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland said it hopes to settle all pending sex abuse claims it faces for about $42 million, according to court documents released Wednesday. The archdiocese faces 129 unresolved claims, it said in a bankruptcy reorganization plan filed Tuesday.

The archdiocese was the first Catholic diocese in the nation to declare bankruptcy when it filed for protection from creditors in July 2004. Archbishop John Vlazny said the reorganization plan "provides for fair and just compensation to victims who have been sexually abused."

Vlazny said the plan was made possible with insurance and loans that were not available before bankruptcy, along with "whatever financial support might be forthcoming from friends of the Archdiocese in the form of gifts or loans."

Attorneys and activists representing alleged sex abuse victims criticized the proposal, saying $42 million is too little and that the church is trying to cover up sex abuse cases by keeping them out of court.

Posted by kshaw at November 17, 2005 11:38 AM