Catholic sex abuse in Northwest isn’t new. Diocese bankruptcies started here.

Idaho Statesman

February 26, 2018

By Michael Katz

It started in Portland.

The Catholic Church there — as similar allegations spread worldwide — faced accusation after accusation of child sexual abuse by clergy. Then the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland reached financial strain it could no longer withstand.

A total of 54 victims accused Maurice Grammond, a priest who worked at a handful of parishes from 1950 to 1985, of abuse. They sued, costing the church $33.4 million in settlements, according to the Oregonian.

The church eventually filed for bankruptcy in 2004, having paid more than $53 million in settlements, according to The Washington Post. A total of 175 victims alleged abuse from the Portland church; their bankruptcy claims were settled for $75 million in 2007, according to Reuters. In the process, it became the first diocese in the country to declare bankruptcy due to sexual abuse cases.

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