Friday, April 20, 2007

Developments in Portland and Spokane Catholic Church Bankruptcy Cases

On April 17, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris formally approved the bankruptcy reorganization plan of the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon. (See prior related posting.) In a surprise development, all remaining claims against the Archdiocese were settled as part of the reorganization plan, according to a Catholic News Service report yesterday. Checks will go out to priest sex-abuse victims next month, financed in part by a $40 million loan from Allied Irish Bank. No parish or school properties will be sold off to finance the $75 million total settlement. In mid-May the Archdiocese will open personnel files of accused clergy.

Also on April 17, parties in the bankruptcy reorganization proceeding of the Diocese of Spokane, Washington filed papers agreeing to a $48 million settlement of clergy sex abuse claims. It is expected that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Patricia Williams will approve the settlement at an April 24 hearing.