June 21, 2019
By Susan Montoya Bryan
Nearly 400 claims have been filed against New Mexico’s largest and oldest Roman Catholic diocese as part of a pending bankruptcy case that stems from the clergy sex abuse scandal, church officials announced Friday.
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe reported that 395 people filed claims against the church as of the June 17 deadline. That included 374 claims involving allegations of sex abuse. The remaining 21 were related to other grievances.
The archdiocese shocked parishioners across much of New Mexico when it filed for Chapter 11 reorganization last year, joining nearly two dozen other dioceses around the United States that have been struggling with the fallout from the abuse scandal.
“We are hopeful that mediation among the survivors’ committee, insurers, archdiocese and other parties will result in a consensus to provide as equitable a resolution for each and every claimant,” the archdiocese said in a statement issued Friday.
New Mexico has a long history with clergy sex abuse because many priests from around the country were sent to the state to get treatment for pedophilia. Church documents as well as legal filings and victim testimony indicate the priests were later assigned to parishes and schools across the state.
Numerous lawsuits resulted over the years, and the church was forced during the 1990s to begin publicly addressing the problem.
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