Catholic Diocese of Albany Files for Bankruptcy

By Thomas P. Giuffra

The Catholic Diocese of Albany is the latest Empire State Catholic diocese to file for federal bankruptcy protection as a result of priest sexual abuse lawsuits. The Dioceses of Rochester, Rockville Centre and Syracuse have already sought bankruptcy protection.

In choosing to file for bankruptcy, the Diocese of Albany has effectively blocked abuse survivors and the public from any access to their internal files which demonstrate how the leadership of the church in Albany handled abuse complaints and how the accused priests had been transferred from one parish to another without the knowledge of law enforcement or unsuspecting parishioners. These actions further endangered numerous children in the parishes to which these priests were assigned.

As for those who had filed civil lawsuits in accordance with the now expired Child Victims Act, those lawsuits are suspended pending the outcome of the federal bankruptcy proceedings. In all likelihood, these claims will receive settlements far less in bankruptcy than what would have been received in a civil court. This isn’t fair to the countless survivors of sexual abuse.

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