WATCH: Catholic Diocese of Rochester Files for Bankruptcy After Being Hit With Dozens of Sex Abuse Lawsuits

Bishop Salvatore R. Matano of the Diocese of Rochester. | Screenshot: YouTube

Weeks after being hit with dozens of sex abuse lawsuits, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester in New York has filed for bankruptcy.

“This is a very difficult and painful decision,” Bishop of Rochester, Salvatore R. Matano, said in a letter to the faithful along with a video message Thursday. “After assessing all reasonable possibilities to satisfy the claims, reorganization is considered the best and fairest course of action for the victims and for the well-being of the diocese, its parishes, agencies and institutions. We believe this is the only way we can provide just compensation for all who suffered the egregious sin of sexual abuse, while ensuring the continued commitment of the diocese to the mission of Christ.”

The lawsuits are being filed as a result of the new Child Victims Act which extends the statute of limitations for a survivor of child sexual abuse in criminal and civil cases in New York. It also allows a one-year window, beginning on Aug. 14, for child sex abuse victims to file suit without a statute of limitations. At least 47 sex abuse lawsuits have been filed in Monroe County as of Thursday, local news station WHAM reports. Of those 47, 45 lawsuits name the Diocese of Rochester as a defendant.

Information from the bankruptcy filing, WHAM reports, shows that the diocese has fewer than 1,000 creditors, with between $50 and $100 million in assets and between $100 and $500 million in liabilities. “Various sex abuse claimants” account for 264 of the diocese’s creditors.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair