Buffalo Catholic Diocese Files for Bankruptcy

Wall Street Journal

February 28, 2020

By Ian Lovett

Diocese is second in New York to seek bankruptcy protections since state law temporarily lifted civil statute of limitations on child sexual abuse

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, N.Y., filed for bankruptcy on Friday, following a number of sexual abuse lawsuits filed against it since August.

Buffalo is the 22nd Catholic diocese to seek bankruptcy protections since 2004, when a wave of sexual abuse allegations against the church began, and the second in New York since a new state law last year temporarily lifted the civil statute of limitations on child sexual abuse. The law, known as the Child Victims Act, allows those who say they were sexually abused as children to sue, no matter when it occurred.

In the bankruptcy filing, the diocese estimated its total assets at between $10 million and $50 million and its liabilities at between $50 million and $100 million. It has at least 200 creditors, according to the filing.

The former bishop of Buffalo resigned late last year following accusations he covered up clergy sex abuse.

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