January 08, 2006

Archbishop: Church will resist ruling

Corvallis Gazette-Times

Associated Press writer

PORTLAND — The leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland says the church will follow its own law on ownership of its property despite a ruling by a federal bankruptcy judge declaring it potentially subject to sale to satisfy claims by victims of alleged priest sex abuse.

Archbishop John Vlazny told the Catholic Sentinel that he considers church buildings and land the property of individual parishes, not the archdiocese.

His comments to the religious newspaper directly contradict a Dec. 30 ruling by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris, who said that property was controlled by the archdiocese.

Her ruling means that parish and Catholic school real estate “worth hundreds of millions of dollars can be tallied when the court decides how much claimants will be paid,’’ the Catholic Sentinel said.

The Portland archdiocese was the first Catholic diocese in the nation to declare bankruptcy when it sought protection from creditors in July 2004.

Posted by kshaw at January 8, 2006 08:24 AM