Syracuse, New York— Most Reverend Douglas J. Lucia, Bishop of Syracuse, announced today his decision to authorize the Diocese of Syracuse to file for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The filing is before the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of New York.
The parishes within the Diocese, the Foundation including the HOPE Appeal, Catholic Charities, Catholic Schools and other entities associated with the Diocese are separate legal entities and are not part of the Chapter 11 filing.
As of today, the Diocese of Syracuse has over 100 lawsuits filed under the Child Victims Act. Bishop Lucia explained in a Letter to the Faithful, “Without a reorganization, the Diocese and claimants will face a slow, unpredictable and costly process that would require years of court involvement. Such a protracted process would delay justice for the victims and only prolong their pain and suffering. The challenge this situation presents our Diocese is simply that one jury award could so diminish our assets that we would have little or nothing with which to resolve the other claims or carry on the important ministries of the Diocese.” The Diocese believes Chapter 11 is the fairest course for all victims and the best course to ensure the Church carries out its mission to serve the people of this diocese.
As part of the Reorganization Plan, the Diocese intends to create a Victims Fund with a pool of funds from the Diocese and insurance carriers. The Diocese is working with insurance carriers to determine the extent of coverage.
Information on reorganization is available on the diocesan website: www.syrdio.org. This site will include up to date information and frequently asked questions about reorganization. It will soon contain a link to a webpage that will have links to all the court documents as they are filed.
“It is my hope that during this process of reorganization and following its completion, we will continue to pray for the healing of those who had been harmed during this very dark chapter of the Church”, stated Bishop Lucia. “As your Bishop, I must again, apologize for these heinous acts and ask you all to join me in our diocesan commitment that these acts will never take place again.”