Archdiocese wants to mortgage prized Manhattan real estate to pay off sex abuse victims

New York Post

By Julia Marsh and Bruce Golding
February 28, 2017

The Archdiocese of New York wants to mortgage a prized piece of property behind St. Patrick’s Cathedral to obtain $100 million to pay off victims of priestly sex abuse who agree not to take their cases to court.

The filing in Manhattan Supreme Court says JP Morgan Chase has agreed to loan the money against the archdiocese’s ownership of land beneath the luxury Lotte Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue between 50th and 51st streets.

Although the court filing doesn’t say why the church needs the dough, a spokesman confirmed it was part of a plan announced by Cardinal Timothy Dolan last year to strike out-of-court settlements with people who were abused by priests and deacons.

“When he introduced the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program, the archdiocese planned to take a loan to cover the cost of the compensation. This loan is to do that,” archdiocese spokesman Joe Zwilling said.

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