Letters: Bay Area Catholic diocese protects itself with bankruptcy. Why didn’t it protect abuse victims?

San Francisco Chronicle [San Francisco CA]

May 12, 2023

Regarding “A Bay Area Catholic diocese filed for bankruptcy in wake of hundreds of sex abuse lawsuits” (Bay Area, SFChronicle.com, May 8): The Catholic Diocese of Oakland is declaring bankruptcy because of the costs of litigation in 330 sexual abuse lawsuits. It’s amazing to me how quickly they move to shield their assets, but how slowly they moved to protect the hundreds of children abused by pedophile priests.

The diocese was equally quick to prevaricate about the reasons for declaring bankruptcy: “We believe this process is the best way to ensure a fair and equitable outcome for survivors.”

No. Bankruptcy is simply a way to protect assets. A number of dioceses have done the same thing to avoid legal and financial responsibility.

Someone, apparently no longer important to modern Christianity, once said something about rich men, desert quadrupeds and needles. The same person also said something about children, stumbling and millstones. That person addressed his commentary to liars, pharisees and hypocrites.

The diocese has assets of somewhere between $100 million and $500 million, and it is doing its damnedest to protect that. I wonder what a certain person would think about this.

Ben Janken, Oakland