Settlement reached in Archdiocesan bankruptcy case

ByDonald L. Leech

May 17, 2022

The 41-month-old Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization case filed by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe was settled Tuesday afternoon, with an estimated $121 million payout to nearly 400 abuse survivors sex of the clergy.

The settlement includes funds from the sale of properties and other assets by the archdiocese, contributions from individual parishes and insurance proceeds.

The Roman Catholic archdiocese, the largest in the state, is one of 29 dioceses and religious orders nationwide to file for bankruptcy protection to stem losses from lawsuits alleging the church does not failed to prevent the sexual abuse of vulnerable young people at the hands of priests and clergy. . In New Mexico, some 74 priests were found to be “credibly accused” of sexually abusing children while assigned to parishes and schools by the archdiocese, which covers central and northern Mexico. New Mexico.

Archbishop John C. Wester, in filing the petition in December 2018, said at the time that he hoped the monetary settlement would bring “healing” to survivors and provide a “just and just” settlement for survivors.

In addition to the monetary settlement, a nine-member creditors’ committee made up of survivors negotiated a non-monetary agreement with the Archdiocese to create a public archive of documents regarding the history of sexual abuse claims against the Archdiocese. The negotiated settlement, which does not include the settlement of any claims against religious orders, will be incorporated into a plan of reorganization on which survivors will have the opportunity to vote.

“Through the hard work of the nine members of the Committee of Official Creditors, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has been held accountable to the survivors. The tenacity and courage of survivors in New Mexico enabled us to reach a recommended settlement that meets the needs of survivors in a timely manner. The bankruptcy process has been lengthy, and ultimately survivors will receive unprecedented transparency about the Archdiocese’s history of sexual abuse claims and just compensation,” said Charles Paez, chair of the committee. surviving creditors.

“The OCC has always stood for fair compensation and transparency.” said James Stang of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP, bankruptcy attorney for the Survivors Committee. Our goal is to try to get money out to survivors by October.

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