January 04, 2006

Portland Archdiocese vows to continue work despite court ruling

Catholic News Service

By Ed Langlois
Catholic News Service

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Despite a court ruling that could significantly boost the amount the Portland Archdiocese must pay for sex-abuse settlements, archdiocesan leaders said the local church and its work will endure.

"The archdiocese is committed to continuing its religious and charitable mission to Catholics and others, including thousands of schoolchildren, its parishioners, and the poor and dispossessed, as it has for its 157-year history in Oregon, no matter what obstacles confront it," said an archdiocesan statement issued after the Dec. 30 decision by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris.

In a ruling that asserted the primacy of secular law over church law in the matter of bankruptcy, Perris said the archdiocese is the owner of parish and school properties.

That means parish and school real estate worth hundreds of millions of dollars can be tallied when the court decides how much claimants will be paid. The archdiocese has 124 parishes, 40 of them with elementary schools, and three archdiocesan high schools.

Posted by kshaw at January 4, 2006 01:50 PM