Today the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced that they are going bankrupt. It will be interesting to see what comes of this action. We know that it will stop all litigation and shorten the window for people making claims. We also know that they will blame the litigation for having to take the action.
What we don’t know is what names are they going to disclose as part of their liabilities. In bankruptcy, you have to list all liabilities. Will they now name abusers that they have always denied?
We don’t know if they will disclose all of their assets. Were there any questionable transfers or money moves that were made in the last couple of years as they got ready for today?
We don’t know what affect it will have on the archdiocese’s lawsuit against the insurance companies to maintain coverage.
We don’t know what they will claim as they move through the bankruptcy. Will they say how open they are and at the same time fight every little action that takes place for disclosure in the bankruptcy court? This has been their pattern during the ongoing litigation.
We don’t know how real the bankruptcy is. Because only time will tell if it was really just a legal maneuver to shift and hide from responsibility.
The bankruptcy judge needs to be asked to look at these disclosures closely and to insure that all liabilities have been disclosed in time for those who have claims to exercise their rights. In fact, for true transparency the Church should be leading the charge to get this information out.
The archdiocese claims this is their way of putting the victims first. Time will tell. It is always interesting when church apologists talk about the greedy trial lawyers who are pushing the church on these cases. Each and every one of these dioceses’ bankruptcies really look like they are all about the money.
Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.
A founding partner with Bradshaw & Bryant, Mike Bryant has always fought to find justice for his clients—knowing that legal troubles, both personal injury and criminal, can be devastating for a family. Voted a Top 40 Personal Injury "Super Lawyer" multiple years, Mr. Bryant has also been voted one of the Top 100 Minnesota "Super Lawyers" four times.