Oregon SJs file for bankruptcy.
Facing more than 200 sexual-abuse lawsuits, the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In the filing, the province claims about $5 million in assets with liabilities nearing $62 million. CNS has the story.
“Our decision to file Chapter 11 was not an easy one, but with approximately 200 additional claims pending or threatened, it is the only way we believe that all claimants can be offered a fair financial settlement within the limited resources of the province,” said Jesuit Father Patrick Lee, provincial, in a Feb. 17 statement.
The statement noted the province has worked “diligently” to resolve claims of priests’ misconduct, saying it has settled more than 200 claims and paid more than $25 million to victims since 2001. That amount does not include payments made by insurers.
In 2007, the province announced a $50 million settlement between the Jesuits and more than 100 native Alaskans for cases of sexual abuse involving more than a dozen Jesuits posted in Alaska between 1961 and 1987.
While apologizing for the abuse, the provincial ritually acknowledged that such “actions” were carried out by “a few.” This is not an opportune time for minimization.