Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Hearing Today In Portland Archdiocese Bankruptcy Case

A hearing is scheduled today in federal bankruptcy court in Portland, Oregon, on which assets of belong to the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland, according to the Albany, Oregon, Democrat Herald. The Archdiocese declared bankruptcy in July 2004 in the face of large claims by priest sex-abuse victims. (See prior related posting.) Today's hearing focuses on whether parish properties are part of the assets that creditors can claim in bankruptcy. The church claims that under canon law, each parish is treated as a separate property owner. Tort claimants argue that canon law does not control, and properties of the parishes and institutions of the archdiocese should be included in the estate of the Archdoicese and made available for settlements. In August, a Washington state bankruptcy court faced a similar issue and sided with creditors of the Spokane Diocese; the Diocese has appealed. (See prior postings 1, 2 .)