Western New York Catholic
February 28, 2020
Chapter 11 filing aims to provide resolution for the most number of individuals who have been harmed by past by sexual abuse while continuing the work of Catholic ministry
The Diocese of Buffalo has formally filed for Chapter 11 reorganization under the U.S. Federal Bankruptcy code with a primary aim of enabling financial resolution for the most number of individuals who have filed claims under the Child Victims Act – a year-long window that opened on August 14, 2019 that suspends the statute of limitations related to allegations of past sexual abuse. A further objective of reorganization is that it allows the Diocese to continue uninterrupted its mission throughout Western New York, while working to settle claims with existing Diocesan assets and insurance coverages.
“We have no more urgent work than to bring about justice and healing for those harmed by the scourge of sexual abuse. The intense emotional, mental and spiritual pain inflicted on these innocent victim-survivors is a heavy burden they are forced to carry throughout their lives,” said Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo. “Our decision to pursue Chapter 11 reorganization – arrived at after much prayer, discernment and consultation with the College of Consultors and our Diocesan Finance Council – is based on our belief that this approach will enable the most number of victim-survivors of past sexual abuse in achieving fairness and a sense of restorative justice for the harm they have experienced. It will also allow the vital, mission-driven work of faith that is so essential to the residents of Western New York to continue uninterrupted.”
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