Long Island Catholic Diocese Bankrupted by Abuse Suits

Bloomberg News

October 1, 2020

By Josh Saul

– Diocese in Rockville Centre is eighth largest in U.S.
– Abuse lawsuits surged after statute of limitations was lifted

One of the largest U.S. dioceses in the Roman Catholic Church filed for bankruptcy after its finances were devastated by sexual abuse lawsuits and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since New York State passed a law that increased the statute of limitations on claims of sexual abuse, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island has been served with 223 sexual abuse lawsuits, according to court papers from the diocese’s late Wednesday filing.

“Chapter 11 was the only way to provide fair settlements to survivors while continuing to be of service to the 1.4 million Catholics in the geographical boundaries of the Diocese of Rockville Centre,” Bishop John O. Barres said in a news release. The filing is also necessary to manage disputes with the diocese’s insurers over abuse coverage and reimbursements, according to the release.

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