Syracuse Diocese, facing Child Victims Act sex abuse lawsuits, files for bankruptcy

Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin

June 19, 2020

By Anthony Borrelli

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse filed for bankruptcy protection Friday, as it faces more than 100 lawsuits under New York’s Child Victims Act for past sex abuse by priests and clergy members mount in the courts.

The Diocese, which filed its petition for Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of New York’s Northern District, estimated its assets as $10 million to $50 million. Its financial liabilities were estimated as $50 million to $100 million.

A document included in federal bankruptcy court said Friday’s filing was “in order to respond to claims stemming from the Child Victims Act in an equitable and comprehensive manner, and to reorganize the financial affairs of the Diocese in order to permit it to continue to fulfill its ministries to the Catholic faithful of the Diocese.”

Without a reorganization, the Diocese and claimants will face a slow, unpredictable and costly process that would require years of court involvement.

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