May 16, 2006

Diocese acts to protect assets, seek judge's withdrawal

Burlington Free Press

Published: Tuesday, May 16, 2006
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington has unveiled a two-pronged strategy to deal with potential fallout from a recent $965,000 settlement in the first of 19 priest sex abuse cases it is faces in Chittenden Superior Court.

In a letter written by Bishop Salvatore Matano and read to attendees at Mass over the weekend around the state, Matano said he has placed the diocese's 128 parishes in individual charitable trusts "to protect the vested interests of our parishes.

"In such litigious times, it would be a gross act of mismanagement if I did not do everything possible to protect our parishes and the interests of the faithful from unbridled, unjust and terribly unreasonable assault," Matano wrote in his letter.

Monday, court officials also confirmed the diocese has filed a motion seeking to have Judge Ben Joseph, the presiding judge in the abuse cases, withdraw from overseeing the remaining priest abuse cases pending in the court.

Posted by kshaw at May 16, 2006 06:48 AM