Attorney: Pivotal Week for Diocese of Rochester, Clergy Abuse Survivors

By Ginny Ryan
September 23, 2019

Rochester is the first New York Catholic diocese to file for bankruptcy - and what happens here could have far-reaching impact.

This week, survivors of clergy abuse - who often felt both powerless and voiceless - will take a commanding role. They'll make up a committee which determines the diocese's assets in order to compensate victims.

Seven survivors of clergy abuse will be chosen to oversee the process.

Attorney Leander James represents several clergy abuse survivors who have filed suit against the diocese. He hopes to have clients on that committee.

"There needs to be someone speaking on behalf of abuse survivors in bankruptcy," he said.

Rochester's diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy less than two weeks ago. James said other dioceses contemplating the same action will be watching to see what happens in Rochester.

So will other survivors longing to have a voice.

"I think it is the epicenter and the focus because what happens in Rochester will likely set a precedent in bankruptcy in this state and beyond this state," James said.








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