February 13, 2006

Bishop: Bankruptcy an option for diocese

Fairbanks News-Miner


Bishop Donald Kettler announced to parishioners Saturday and Sunday that the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese may have to consider bankruptcy among other options if the church loses pending court decisions in sexual abuse lawsuits.

Priests in the diocese's far-flung churches read a letter from Kettler that outlined three options he was considering to deal with the more than 90 sexual abuse of a minor claims against former priests and church volunteers. That bankruptcy is among those options was not met with great surprise.

"We know what's happening in other dioceses, with bankruptcies," said Anne Aleshire, a 13-year parishioner at St. Raphael Catholic Parish. "It's not surprising that that's one of the options."

Kettler noted the first trial is scheduled for Feb. 27 if a Nome Superior Court judge or the Alaska Supreme Court fail to side with the diocese and the Society of Jesus in a number of decisions. In her suit, Jane Doe 2 claims the Rev. James Poole sexually abused her, impregnated her, then told her to get an abortion.

Posted by kshaw at February 13, 2006 07:23 AM