Boy Scouts’ Bankruptcy Deals a Blow to Catholic Families

National Catholic Register

February 21, 2020

By Peter Jesserer Smith

The BSA now joins Church dioceses in filing for bankruptcy over sex-abuse claims, although the legal contexts are different in some respects.

Buffalo NY – For Jennie Marinaro, a Catholic and a scouting parent, the Boy Scouts of America’s announcement of bankruptcy as a result of decades of failures to protect children from sex abuse was heartbreak upon heartbreak.

“It bothers me now that two organizations I am involved with are involved in covering up sexual assault,” Marinaro told the Register. The Buffalo-area mom said she had stopped donating money to the Catholic Church as her own diocese goes through a painful reckoning of the sex-abuse scandal. And while she feels her own scouting troop cares about protecting children, the bankruptcy announcement has her feeling deeply conflicted.

The Boy Scouts of America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Delaware on Feb. 18. The 110-year-old youth organization is seeking to put an end to hundreds of sex-abuse lawsuits as well as protect from further litigation its 261 local councils and hundreds of local organizations chartering its youth units.

The BSA put up a special website that explained the national organization filed for bankruptcy in order to restructure and fulfill two mandates: first to “social and moral responsibility to equitably compensate all victims who were abused during their time in scouting” and “a duty to carry out our mission for years to come.”

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