National Catholic Reporter
Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola | Dec. 29, 2015
After recently beginning its third year in bankruptcy court, racking up more than $3.2 million in bankruptcy costs and participating in three court-ordered mediations, the Gallup diocese is on the verge of brokering a settlement with clergy sex abuse claimants.
News of that impending settlement was confirmed by James Stang, legal counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, which represents abuse claimants, in brief statements made to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Thuma in Albuquerque Dec. 16.
No details of the financial settlement were provided during the hearing, which lasted less than 15 minutes. The nonmonetary terms of the settlement are currently being negotiated, Stang explained. No timetable was given as to when details are expected to be finalized.
Reaching an agreement with the abuse claimants is a major step toward achieving a consensual plan of reorganization for the diocese, which filed its Chapter 11 petition on Nov. 12, 2013. At the time of the filing, the diocese was facing 13 clergy sex abuse lawsuits in Arizona and an additional number of out-of-court abuse claims.
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