Attorney: Covington Diocese Looking at Bankruptcy

Associated Press, carried by WKRN TV in Nashville
October 23, 2004

Covington -- An attorney for the Diocese of Covington says bankruptcy is an option to keep the church financially solvent in the wake of the priest sex-abuse scandal.

Attorney Carrie Huff of Chicago says such a move might be inevitable. The Covington Diocese is facing the nation's first class-action lawsuit over claims of sexual abuse.

Huff says the suit could cost the diocese tens of millions of dollars and while bankruptcy is not an attractive alternative, at some point reality kicks in.

It is a consideration that comes on the heels of the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, filing for bankruptcy on Tuesday because of the steep costs from clergy sex abuse lawsuits. The Portland Archdiocese has paid 53 (m) million dollars to settle 133 claims from people who were abused by priests. Another 60 claims are pending.

No other American diocese has filed for bankruptcy. Other dioceses in Kentucky said filing for Chapter 11 protection wasn't an option.


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