Camden’s Catholic diocese left two-thirds of claims filed with sex abuse victim fund unpaid as it sought bankruptcy protection

Philadelphia Inquirer via Press of Atlantic City

October 3, 2020

By Jeremy Roebuck

More than two-thirds of the victims who signed up to participate in a fund set up by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden to compensate survivors of clergy sex abuse were left with their claims unresolved and diminished expectations of seeing a payout, according to previously unreleased information included in the diocese’s bankruptcy filings this week.

Now, 141 people who were encouraged by Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan to come forward and recount their trauma for fund administrators last year must join a line of other creditors — including banks, independent contractors and lawsuit plaintiffs — to jostle in court over a limited pot of money that will be divided up by the bankruptcy court.

In announcing the move late Thursday to become the first diocese in New Jersey to seek Chapter 11 protection from creditors, church leaders said their intent was not to dodge their responsibility to abuse victims, but rather to ensure a future for the institution that serves South Jersey’s nearly half-million Catholics.

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