A Roman Catholic diocese in New York City's suburbs has become the largest in the U.S. to declare bankruptcy to protect itself from a wave of lawsuits filed over past sexual abuse by clergy members, the AP website reports today (October 2, 2020).
The Diocese of Rockville Centre filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection yesterday. It is the eighth largest diocese or archdiocese in the U.S., serving more than 1.4 million Catholics on Long Island.
"The financial burden of the litigation has been severe and only compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic," Bishop John Barres said.
More than 200 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by clergy members have been filed against the diocese since the 2019 passage of New York's Child Victims Act, which suspended the statute of limitations to allow sex abuse victims to pursue decades-old allegations of abuse against clergy members.