New Mexico’s largest Catholic diocese has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent months on lawyers to fight claims of clergy sex abuse and to prepare for a potentially lengthy battle in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s petition for reorganization provides a rare look into the finances of a religious organization that has for decades been wrestling with the financial and social consequences of a scandal that rocked churches across the country.
Archbishop John Wester describes the filing as an equitable thing to do as church reserves dwindle. He says compensating victims is a top priority.
National watchdog groups and attorneys for victims of clergy sex abuse said this week that the archdiocese’s actions suggest otherwise.