Catholic Church in Delaware Files for Bankruptcy Protection on Eve of Sexual-Abuse Trial

pix_BishopMaloolyBCThe Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington appears to have learned a few secular lessons from corporate felons in that state. On the eve of the first trial of dozens of sex-abuse cases with hundreds of millions in potential damages, the diocese filed for bankruptcy to try to make any damages more difficult to collect. The decision by Bishop W. Francis Malooly is being attacked as an effort to reduce potential damages in the various cases moving toward trial.

The diocese is facing the cases due to a two-year moratorium on the statute of limitations passed by the legislature in 2007 — resulting in 142 alleged victims filing lawsuits. The church has now responded by filing for Chapter 11 protection. Bishop W. Francis Malooly called bankruptcy a “painful decision” but insisted that it will not only protect the church but allow payment to victims.

Lawyers for the victims, however, denounced the move as a “fraudulent tactic” designed to hide assets and accountability.

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26 thoughts on “Catholic Church in Delaware Files for Bankruptcy Protection on Eve of Sexual-Abuse Trial”

  1. Thank you Mike Spindell. I was anticipating your comment if you happened to visit this thread. I am always interested in your opinions and positions on subjects.

    Every day, I grow more weary observing too frequent evidence of humans maiming, torturing, going to war against, and killing other humans based on impulsive, irrational, illogical religious “beliefs” instead of logically and methodically *thinking* through the consequences of their actions in the *here and now.*

  2. “Bishop W. Francis Malooly’s portrait reflects a counterfeit snake oil prophet illustrating in one view the largest fraud ever conned on the human race—a guarantee of an everlasting soul based on an imaginary anthropomorphic ill-tempered, heavy-handed smoke and mirrors ghost-god floating amorphously somewhere up yonder in the stratosphere.”

    FFLEO,
    That was your greatest effort thus far at waxing poetic and I can’t say I disagree with you.

  3. It is my understanding that each diocese that the Bishop is responsible for is a separate 501 (3)(C) non profit corporation. The Vatican which is entirely within the city of Rome is an independent country.They have offered for century’s one of the oldest franchise agreements of record.

    Just like each McDonalds has a separate owner as in a franchising agreement.

  4. Form Fed,

    I have a wonderful, religious picture in my head that I really wish I could have witnessed in person.

    The Fort Hood shooter finally wakes up from his coma in the hospital room to find an MP, a FBI Special Agent, and a CID Special Agent standing at the foot of his bed smiling and welcoming him … to Paradise.

    Certainly a serendipitously holy moment for the shooter that any archbishop would appreciate.

  5. Well its a shame our archbishop must not have known about that, according to the St Louis Post Dispatch front page yesterday the new archbishop here went into his private discressionary fund and sent $10,000.00 to Maine to help stop gay marrige there.. Im sure he really would have wanted to help out poor Delaware if only he had known

  6. Former Fed:

    I suggest that one need look no further than the actions of these expert churchmen as support for your view.

    If the heaven that they preach really does exist then one would think they would be trying much harder to get in.

    They are not, so it must not … and they would know, would they not?

  7. Bishop W. Francis Malooly’s portrait reflects a counterfeit snake oil prophet illustrating in one view the largest fraud ever conned on the human race—a guarantee of an everlasting soul based on an imaginary anthropomorphic ill-tempered, heavy-handed smoke and mirrors ghost-god floating amorphously somewhere up yonder in the stratosphere.

  8. There is nothing more satisfying to the force of evil than to destroy the innocent goodness of a child. There is nothing more abhorrent to evil than to lose perfectly good assets to that child.

  9. Ladies and gentlemen. I now introduce you to the half nelson, full nelson and our very own deep Father Nelson.

    I guess its not as bad a rodeo sex.

  10. Let’s face it the new Pope, former Hitler youth, is a disaster for the RCC. He hearkens back to older times when the Pope saw himself as a Political leader. The problem is that in those times the Popes usually weren’t true believers. This Pope is as Fundamentalist as you can get, but lacks the humanity and charm of the previous Pope, who was also quite conservative. This at a time when the RCC is losing membership in droves does not bode well for the RCC. This bankruptcy filing shows a religious institution behaving like a major corporation, that too is not a good sign. Where is Pope John Roncate when you need him most?

  11. Let’s face it the new Pope, former Hiyler youth, is a disaster for the RCC. He hearkens back to older times when the Pope saw himself as a Political leader. The problem is that in those times the Popes usually weren’t true believers. This Pope is as Fundamentalist as you can get, but lacks the humanity and charm of the previous Pope, who was also quite conservative. This at a time when the RCC is losing membership in droves does not bode well for the RCC. This bankruptcy filing shows a religious institution behaving like a major corporation, that too is not a good sign.

  12. The Catholic church has also threatened Washington DC that it will discontinue “the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.”

    Presumably the church now does not need the heightened access to young ones that such a program would afford but rather some cash for legal defense against the alleged crimes resulting from prior access.

    The church of Bart Stupak, both doing their very best to take us back as many centuries as possible.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/11/AR2009111116943_pf.html

  13. Byron,

    They knew. There’s plenty of evidence for that. If you read the whole article it will show that the problem isn’t lack of knowledge by the Vatican but the status of it vis a vis our courts.

  14. Jill:

    your last sentence implies that Rome was kept in the dark about some or all of the abuse.

    That is the real question, did Rome know about the abuse or was it complicit in the cover-ups which occurred in the US. I find it hard to think they did not know, as a 12 year old in the late 60’s we used to joke about the Priests and the alter boys. I knew quite a good many Catholic children and they used to joke about it but I never met a kid that had actually been abused or heard any rumors of such abuse.

    They really do need to let Priests marry, it is un-natural to be obstinate.

  15. Byron,

    This is what I found:

    “A federal appeals court has permitted a lawsuit over alleged sexual abuse to proceed against the Vatican, creating potential liability for the seat of the Roman Catholic faith for the activities of Catholic clergy in the U.S.

    Monday’s ruling, issued by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, marks the first time a court at so high a level has recognized that the Vatican could be liable for the negligence in sexual-abuse cases brought in the U.S.

    The ruling is seen as a breakthrough by those allegedly abused by priests. Investigators and grand juries have found several instances where the church failed to report alleged abusers and covered up alleged misdeeds to protect them.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122756420187954231.html

  16. These bankruptcies are a pattern with the church, just like the consistent denial of sex abuse and the movement of priests from parish to parish and the higher ups moved to Rome out of the reach of court testimony.

    I think this pattern is enough to go forward with claims against the “Holy” See-no-evil itself. They have engaged in tactics that rival any other criminal enterprise and they should be treated as such.

  17. dosent it all belong to Rome in any event?

    Can Rome be sued as well or least be forced to pony over payments?

  18. From the article: “In its filing, the diocese claimed assets of $50 million to $100 million.”

    **********

    Must be tough not knowing how much you own. A million here, a million there, and pretty soon you are talking real money.

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