He said its finances had been exhausted since 2017 as part of an independent reconsideration and indemnity program to compensate around 320 survivors of pastoral sexual abuse.
“What became clear was that the diocese was not going to be able to continue its spiritual, charitable, and educational missions if it were to continue the increasing heavy burden of expenses for lawsuits involving these matters,” Barres said. Video, adding that the COVID-19 epidemic added to the “severe” financial burden.
Barres said the ministry of the diocese will continue, and that the filing will not affect employee salaries or benefit programs. Parishes and schools are separate legal entities and are expected to operate normally.
According to Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in Apostolate, the Rockville Center is the eighth-largest diocese in the country, with more than 1.4 million Catholics. By filing it is the largest US diocese ever to be declared bankrupt.
“We will work diligently to maintain open communication with all survivors, creditors and ministries while we work toward our goal of a settlement and a restructuring plan that includes a comprehensive resolution for those victims , “Said Barres.