categoryMenu_new
 
  Home
  EXTRAORDINARY AH Teaching from Spiritual Hierarchy
  AbundantHope
  NEW READERS! Read Here First
  Supporting AH
  Leadership of AbundantHope
  Announcements
  Regional AH Sites
  Other Sites with AH material
  Contact Us
  Becoming A Messiah
  OUR PUBLIC FORUM IS OPEN TOO ALL
  Mission Ideas
  System Busting
  Cleric Letter/English
  Translations of Cleric Letter
  AH Member Writings
  Candace
  Ron
  Rosie
  Jess
  Brian's Poetry
  James
  Giuseppe
  Esteban
  Telepathic Messages
  Candace
  Jess Anthony
  Vince
  Leonette
  John
  Adam
  Bela
  Joyce
  Hazel
  Kibo
  Peter
  Rosie
  Johan
  Lucia
  Lucia G
  Rubens
  Shellee-Kim
  Ben
  Dorothea
  Solon
  Others
  Targeted Messages
  Hano
  Light Flower
  Changing The Face Of Religion
  - Phoenix Journals - PDF in German
  Candace on Religion
  Other Spiritual Pieces
  Spiritual Nuggets by the Masters
  Phoenix Journals
  Phoenix Journals - PDF
  Telepathic Messages PDF books
  Selections from the Urantia Book
  Illustrations For The Urantia Book
  CMGSN Pieces
  THE WAVE
  Environment/Science
  David Crayford and the ITC
  Health and Nutrition
  Podcasts, Radio Shows, Video by AH
 
  Political Information
  True US History
  Human/Animal Rights
  The Miracle That Is Me
  Education
  Resources
  911 Material
  Books - eBooks
  government email/phone #'s
  Self Reliance
  Video
  Websites
  Alternative News Sources
  Art and Music
  Foreign Sites
  Health and Healing
  Human/Animal Rights
  Scientific
  Spiritual
  Vegan Recipes
  Translated Material
  Dutch
  Gekanaliseerde berichten Jess
  Gekanaliseerde berichten Candace
  Gekanaliseerde berichten Anderen
  Artikelen/berichten
  French
  Canal Jess
  Par Candace
  Other Channels
  Articles
  German
  Telepathische Nachrichten (Candace)
  Telepathische Nachrichten (Jess)
  Telepathische Nachrichten (div.)
  AH Mitgliederbeiträge (Candace)
  AH Mitgliederbeiträge (Jess)
  Spirituelle Schätze
  Italian
  Translations - Candace
  Translations - Jess
  Translations - Others
  Portuguese
  by Candace
  By Jess
  By Others
  Spanish
  Anfitriones Divinos
  Bitácoras Fénix
  Creadores-de-Alas (WingMakers/Lyricus)
  Escritos de Candace
  Escritos de Otros
  Monjoronsón
  Telemensajes de Candace
  Telemensajes de Jess Anthony
  Telemensajes de Otros
  Chinese
  By Candace
  By Jess
  By Others
  Korean Translations
  Hungarian Translations
  Swedish Translations

Search
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Political Information Last Updated: Feb 28, 2020 - 11:35:10 PM


Bishops Allegedly Using Bankruptcy To Shield Assets
By Paul Murano
Feb 28, 2020 - 11:29:00 PM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page Share/Bookmark

https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/bishops-allegedly-using-bankruptcy-to-shield-assets

February 28, 2020

Attorney Jeff Anderson: sex abuse victims are the casualties

DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - An attorney who has represented victims of clergy sex abuse victims for nearly 40 years claims that Catholic bishops often hide assets in bankruptcy cases, particularly to minimize payouts to sex abuse victims.


Image
Attorney Jeff Anderson


Jeff Anderson, who represented scores of victims in the largest clergy sex abuse bankruptcy settlement in the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, has long been warning that bishops will protect Church assets in unscrupulous ways in order to minimize settlement payouts.

"They have the upper hand," Anderson said. "They have the advantage that they don't have to adhere to outside scrutiny like corporations. The court of public opinion would have that bishops wouldn't do those kinds of things, but they do, and they have the upper hand."

When Anderson started representing victims of clergy sex abuse almost 40 years ago, he had a big problem convincing people that priests were capable of such heinous crimes. The laity in the U.S. almost deified their priests and bishops as models of virtue that could do no wrong. However, many subsequent investigations scandals have changed that attitude.

Digging for Financial Disclosure

The bigger challenge now for Anderson is to get the bishops to disclose all their diocese's financial assets. For example, the diocese of Harrisburg last week announced it had filed for federal bankruptcy protection in the midst of mounting clergy sex abuse lawsuits. The filing comes two years after a grand jury investigation implicated the diocese and five others in widespread and systemic clergy sex abuse and cover-up.

Anderson argues that, barring a court order, a full disclosure of the diocese's true assets may be hard to ascertain.

Beyond its constitutional religious protections and its tax exemption, the Harrisburg diocese notes in the bankruptcy filing that its 89 parishes and schools are financially autonomous and not involved in the filing. Hence, the 15-county diocese only lists assets of between $1 million and $10 million.

Anderson faced a similar situation in 2015 with the bankruptcy of the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Attorneys for the chancery argued that all its parishes, schools and approximately 10 cemeteries were separate entities from the archdiocese. Church leaders put the archdiocese's worth at less than $50 million. Anderson and a handful of other lawyers for victims put the number closer to $1.7 billion.

"The games the bishops play in bankruptcy is to file only the diocese in the corporation but that corporation is a small fraction of the actual assets under his control," Anderson said.

Bishops' vs. Victims' 'Best Interests'

"Who presides over these parishes? The bishop," Anderson asserted. "He's the CEO. The bishop owns the schools, the real estate, the investment portfolios, all the parishes. Everything is under his control in the entire diocese," he said. "That's under Church law and their own articles of corporation."


Image
Attorney Matt Haverstick


Anderson claims that many dioceses effectively use the bankruptcy code to hide assets in order to under-report their ability to pay, and thus undervalue the claims made by survivors. "There is serious chicanery in use of reorganization of Catholic dioceses," he said. "It's a moral crisis."

However, the dioceses see it much differently. Matt Haverstick, an attorney for the diocese of Harrisburg, said that the bankruptcy filing is "the most responsible thing we can do for victims and survivors." He claims it is not an attempt to force survivors or litigants into settlements of lower values. "This is an attempt to try to do right by everybody, not short-shrift one group over another," Haverstick stated during the press conference in which the Harrisburg diocese announced its filing.

Some dioceses have succeeded in shielding vast assets from disclosure in bankruptcy cases; others have not done as well.

In 2007, for instance, a bankruptcy judge threatened to hold the diocese of San Diego in contempt of court for questionable practices that included grossly misrepresenting assets. The question of whether assets of individual parishes and social service programs were a part of the diocese's total assets was a hotly contested issue throughout that case.

In the end, the diocese of San Diego agreed to pay $198 million to settle 144 claims of clergy sex abuse. The diocese had initially offered around $95 million to settle those claims as part of its bankruptcy reorganization plan.

Courts 'Less Deferential' to Prelates

The San Diego case illustrates an increasingly aggressive attitude in the courts for clergy sex abuse cases, said Anderson. In the 18 years since the first massive clergy sex abuse scandal broke out in the archdiocese of Boston, the courts and the public have increasingly grown less deferential of priests and bishops, he noted.

"They no longer get the deference they used to get," said Anderson. "It used to be that if the bishop said, 'that's the way it is', that's the way the people would accept it. But their word is no longer being accepted."

The credibility of bishops has certainly taken a hit, especially since the breaking news of the "summer of shame," taking most Catholics by surprise. This was when the McCarrick scandal surfaced and the findings of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury was made public.

As Church Militant reported in December, Abp. John Wester of Santa Fe vowed that abuse victims are his top priority, and suggested that in the face of dwindling archdiocesan resources, a bankruptcy declaration is the best means of guaranteeing compensation.

"I wish to make clear that our first and foremost concern is the victims of sexual abuse and our desire to do all we can to provide for their just compensation," Wester said. "We believe that Chapter 11 is the most equitable way for the archdiocese to address its responsibility to the victim-survivors." But victims' representatives counter that New Mexico's largest diocese, like other dioceses, is motivated by self-interest.




All writings by members of AbundantHope are copyrighted by
©2005-2020 AbundantHope - All rights reserved

Detailed explanation of AbundantHope's Copyrights are found here


Top of Page

Political Information
Latest Headlines
Russia Designates Floyd George “Incident” Psyop Operation—Warns CIA Is Main Target
World without money
Off With Her Head ! Aussie republicans scent blood as Queen’s secret letters on PM’s contentious sacking are set to be made public
How Barack Obama Destroyed Libya
Former Antifa Member Admits Group's Acts Are "Very Definition Of Domestic Terrorism"
UK Opposition to Russia’s Return Proves That Trump is Right On The G7/G8 Being Past Sell-by date
Twitter Puts President Trump As Top Search Result for Term “racist”
NASA Issues Incoming Asteroid Alert As Combat Warplanes Fill Night Skies Of America
Shocking Evidence That Indicates That Somebody Is Trying To Orchestrate An Internal Uprising Inside The United States
Twitter Censors Rep. Matt Gaetz for ‘Glorifying Violence’ … Against Antifa!
Zuckerberg Won’t Censor Trump, but Don’t Mistake Facebook for a Bastion of Free Speech
Mainstream Media Has Been Conditioning You For This Uprising For Four Years
The Social Contract Between Government And People Is Unraveling
"To Whom Will We Entrust The Truth Now That It No Longer Exists?"
‘Let’s not excuse violence’: Barack Obama Forgets His ENTIRE Presidency and Argues Riots Should Lead to Voting Democrat
"It's All Bullsh*t" – 3 Leaks That Sink The COVID Narrative
Latin American Pro-Lifers Push Back
Exposing The Media's "Distraction" Deception
Free Abortions, pre-K sex ed: Conservatives Blast Boise Mayor’s Transition Report as 'socialist wish list'
Twenty Unanswered Questions to the George Floyd Protests, how did we get here ?