Catholic diocese mulls options, including bankruptcy, amid clergy abuse lawsuits

Adirondack Daily Enterprise

February 25, 2020

Catholics in northern New York received a message from the Diocese of Ogdensburg on Sunday.

A one-page letter, which was either handed out to churchgoers or included in the bulletin, was not distributed by all parishes Sunday. Some will distribute the letter on March 1.

The letter details the struggles the diocese has faced in the wake of the passage of the Child Victims Act which opened a one-year window for victims of childhood sexual abuse to bring lawsuits that were previously barred due to statutes of limitation. That window closes on Aug. 13.

Since the window opened, 23 lawsuits have been filed against the Diocese of Ogdensburg, headed by Bishop Terry LaValley.

“We want to be transparent,” Diocese Director of Communications Darcy Fargo said. “The diocese is made of the people who reside in the 12,000 square miles the diocese encompasses, and they deserve to know where we stand.”

“We anticipate that more lawsuits may be filed, and we are unable at this time to determine the total number of claims that will be made while the CVA window is open,” the message read.

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