Archdiocese of San Francisco Files for Chapter 11 Protection

Posted on: February 13, 2024 Catholic Church Sexual Abuse

In a statement released at the end of August 2023, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said the Archdiocese of San Francisco has filed for bankruptcy. The statement claimed the filing was necessary to deal with more than 500 clergy sexual abuse lawsuits filed since California opened a 3-year revival window in 2019. While the revival window has since closed, hundreds of clergy sex abuse lawsuits are also being blamed for the Diocese of Oakland bankruptcy filing. The Diocese of San Diego is also threatening to file for bankruptcy protection for similar reasons.

In his statement, the Archbishop of San Francisco said the Archdiocese has neither the means nor the ability to litigate all of the clergy sexual abuse lawsuits filed against it. He went on to say that the bankruptcy process presented the best option for “providing fair and equitable compensation to the innocent survivors who have been harmed.” Lawyers for clergy sexual abuse survivors believe the bankruptcy filing is just another attempt by Archbishop Cordileone to keep the truth of what happened in his archdiocese hidden. The San Francisco Archdiocese is the only diocese in California that has yet to release a list of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse. Late last year, a group of sexual abuse survivors personally delivered to the archbishop a list of 312 names associated with the San Francisco Archdiocese who had been accused of sexual abuse – yet the archbishop still has not acted.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, was also doubtful of the archbishop’s claims of the financial burden the lawsuits would have on the archdiocese. The statement said in part:

We seriously doubt that the Archdiocese of San Francisco does not have the assets to settle these lawsuits. We can only hope that the federal judge closely examines the Archdiocese’s real estate holdings, which are spread across three of the richest counties in the United States.

The entire article can be viewed here.

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