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Vatican Hides $2 Billion in Assets to Limit Abuse Payouts

No.530025 ViewReplyOriginalReport
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-01-08/the-catholic-church-s-strategy-to-limit-payouts-to-abuse-victims

Dioceses are aggressively moving and reclassifying holdings to shrink the value of their bankruptcy estates.

More dioceses are filing for bankruptcy now that rules are changing about how much time a victim has to sue over abuse. Seven states and the District of Columbia passed laws in 2019 that suspend the statute of limitations on civil sex abuse suits, and at least three other states are considering them.

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In many cases, churches precede bankruptcy by transferring and reclassifying assets. The effect is to shrink the pot of money available to clergy abuse victims. That and Chapter 11’s universal settlements and protections from further claims have been an effective one-two punch for limiting payouts. A Bloomberg Businessweek review of court filings by lawyers for churches and victims in the past 15 years shows that the U.S. Catholic Church has shielded more than $2 billion in assets from abuse victims in bankruptcies using these methods. “The survivors should have gotten that money, and they didn’t,” says Terry McKiernan, president of BishopAccountability.org. “The Catholic Church has behaved like a business. It hasn’t behaved like a religion that lives by the rules it espouses.”


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