San Diego Diocese Considering Bankruptcy, Church Blames Clergy Sex Abuse Claims
Posted on: April 13, 2023 Catholic Church Sexual Abuse
The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego recently stated it may choose to file for bankruptcy in the coming months; blaming the number of clergy sexual abuse cases filed against it. A letter from Bishop Robert McElroy to parishioners said the “staggering” legal costs of dealing with roughly 400 clergy sexual abuse lawsuits has put the diocese in this difficult position. A spokesman for the diocese predicted it would cost the diocese $550 million to settle the cases, even though none had gone to trial yet. According to the diocese, filing for bankruptcy would “provide a pathway” to help clergy sexual abuse survivors and continue to serve its parishioners.
Over the last few years, California extended its statute of limitations law for child sexual abuse as well as opened a revival window. While the revival window has since closed, much like what happened with the revival window in New York state, hundreds of clergy sex abuse survivors choose to file claims during the window period.
Revival windows are important and often critical for survivors of child sexual abuse. Often times, a survivor is not ready to come forward with their story of abuse for decades. Unfortunately, in some instances, when a survivor of child sex abuse is able to come forward, the statute of limitations law has already run out; meaning it is too late for a survivor to file that claim in court. A revival window can give a survivor the right to file a claim no matter when their abuse took place.
Many of the claims the diocese faces are from clergy sex abuse suffered by victims 50 to 75 years ago. Of course, because no recent claims of alleged clergy abuse were filed, the bishop used the opportunity to pat the church on the back for clamping down on clergy sexual abuse. However, the church is never one to let the facts stand in the way of the truth. The bishop, either purposefully or not, is overlooking the fact that if there are clergy sex abuse victims who were abused recently, odds are, many are not ready to come forward. Some might argue that this fact makes the bishop’s claim of curbing clergy sexual abuse more than a bit disingenuous.
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