Harrisburg Diocese’s bankruptcy case ends with $18M trust for victims of clergy sex abuse

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A federal bankruptcy court on Wednesday approved a plan calling for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg to establish an $18 million trust to pay settlements with victims of clergy sex abuse.

The so-called reorganization plan approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania also establishes stipulated child protection protocols.

The court decision comes nearly three years after the diocese filed for bankruptcy amid mounting claims from victims of clergy sex abuse.

Officials from SNAP – which stands for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests – decried the plans to compensate survivors focused more on protecting the church’s assets and information than providing restorative justice to adults who were traumatized as children by clergy or church employees.

“The simple fact is that monetary reparations for a lifetime of bearing the pain of abuse is pittance in the grand scheme of things, especially given the vast wealth of the church,” SNAP said in a written statement. “There is no way to make up for the lifelong suffering brought on by sexual assault, and the sham that is Harrisburg church officials claiming indigence only adds to that suffering.”

The Harrisburg Diocese in 2020 filed for Chapter 11 protection in the wake of a statewide grand jury investigation that found that priests in the diocese and five others in Pennsylvania had sexually molested generations of minors.

The 15-county Harrisburg Diocese was named in the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury led by then-Attorney General Josh Shapiro, which found that church leaders had for decades covered up the crimes.

Content retrieved from: https://www.pennlive.com/news/2023/02/bankruptcy-case-concludes-for-harrisburg-diocese-an-18-million-trust-to-be-set-to-compensate-victims-of-clergy-sex-abuse.html.

1 comment

  1. The Roman Catholic Church has paid the victims of clergy sexual abuse more than $3 billion to date. Frequently the church seems to use Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a vehicle for containing the cost of settlements.

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