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Old 02-09-2014, 11:10 PM  
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Catholic diocese in Helena, Mont., files for bankruptcy to resolve sex abuse lawsuits

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014...abuse-lawsuits

By Alessandra Malito, NBC News

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, Mont., filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday to pave the way for a $15 million settlement of lawsuits alleging clergy members sexually abused 362 children over five decades, according to a diocese spokesman.

“The settlement here will be as much help financially as we can offer to claimants,” the spokesman, Dan Bartleson, told NBCNews.com. “And the bankruptcy puts us in a place at the diocese where we can care for the Catholics who are currently part of the church.”

The lawsuits, originally filed in 2011, claimed that clergy members had abused children from the 1940s to 1980s and that the diocese knew or should have known what was happening.

“It’s widespread … (and) some of the most horrific abuse we’ve dealt with,” Dan Fasy, an attorney with law firm Kosnoff Fasy, which represents 268 of the 362 claimants, told NBC News.

Although the settlements are not official yet, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Montana would supervise the disbursement of $15 million if the Chapter 11 protection is approved, with an additional $2.5 million set aside for victims who have not yet come forward, Bartleson said.

All of the claimants lived within the diocese’s geographical boundaries, which span western and north central Montana.

In August 2012, the Rev. George Leo Thomas, bishop of Helena, wrote a letter published in a diocese bulletin asking those who may have suffered to come forward.

“As I have personally listened to survivors’ heart-wrenching stories, I have been saddened by their reports of shattered innocence, broken trust and the spiritual and psychological toll that abuse takes on innocent victims,” Thomas wrote. “Words cannot adequately express our sorrow or convey the depth of our apology.”

Fasy, the attorney representing most of the claimants, said the deal worked out with the diocese will help the sexual abuse survivors turn the page.

“We’re all working toward the common goal of getting healing and closure for the survivors we represent,” Fasy said. “Although we didn’t choose to file for bankruptcy protection, it may be an effective resolution to these claims.”

Although most of the settlement will be funded by insurance carriers, a press release from the Helena diocese said it will need to pay at least $2.5 million to fund claims and the costs associated with the lawsuits, which has led to a reduction of staff, services and the limitation of parish building projects.

The Ursuline Sisters of the Western Province, a Catholic order that has been involved in mediations, is not part of the settlement , Bartleson said.

Another case that has also been filed and is pending is against the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, which covers the eastern part of the state. A resolution from the bankruptcy filing would not impact that case.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:57 AM   #2
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Good. There is nothing on this earth worse than someone who would sexually abuse a child.

And it's even worse when that person is in a position of authority like a priest.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:59 AM   #3
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Does each church stand alone as far as lawsuits are concerned? They can't tap into the main church?
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Old 02-10-2014, 07:34 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Hoopsdoc View Post
Good. There is nothing on this earth worse than someone who would sexually abuse a child.

And it's even worse when that person is in a position of authority like a priest.
A doctor who severs a spinal of a child in the womb?

...is it worse that the person is in a position of "DO NO HARM"?
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:53 PM   #5
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362 kids over 5 decades? Damn. How the **** could that level of abuse persist for 5 decades?

And the resolution? "Sorry we buttraped hundreds of kids, here's some money so you can 'Turn the page'".

This quote was a little puzzling too:

Quote:
Although most of the settlement will be funded by insurance carriers, a press release from the Helena diocese said it will need to pay at least $2.5 million to fund claims and the costs associated with the lawsuits, which has led to a reduction of staff, services and the limitation of parish building projects.

with an additional $2.5 million set aside for victims who have not yet come forward
These churches have insurance that specifically covers child rape settlements? Not only that, but they go so far as to reserve $2.5M knowing more victims will come forward?

How are these churches still in operation? I can't imagine being part of a congregation and being told we can't have new stuff or do renovations because they have to pay off their child rape victims.
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by stonedstooge View Post
Does each church stand alone as far as lawsuits are concerned? They can't tap into the main church?
Each diocese is stand alone.
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Fish View Post
362 kids over 5 decades? Damn. How the **** could that level of abuse persist for 5 decades?

And the resolution? "Sorry we buttraped hundreds of kids, here's some money so you can 'Turn the page'".

This quote was a little puzzling too:



These churches have insurance that specifically covers child rape settlements? Not only that, but they go so far as to reserve $2.5M knowing more victims will come forward?

How are these churches still in operation? I can't imagine being part of a congregation and being told we can't have new stuff or do renovations because they have to pay off their child rape victims.
It's a horror movie for sure.
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by stevieray View Post
A doctor who severs a spinal of a child in the womb?

...is it worse that the person is in a position of "DO NO HARM"?
Great point.
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post
362 kids over 5 decades? Damn. How the **** could that level of abuse persist for 5 decades?

And the resolution? "Sorry we buttraped hundreds of kids, here's some money so you can 'Turn the page'".

This quote was a little puzzling too:



These churches have insurance that specifically covers child rape settlements? Not only that, but they go so far as to reserve $2.5M knowing more victims will come forward?

How are these churches still in operation? I can't imagine being part of a congregation and being told we can't have new stuff or do renovations because they have to pay off their child rape victims.
The obvious answer is that it probably didn't. This Bishop has decided not to fight these allegations, but instead to open the Diocese records and make every effort to minister to the souls of the alleged victims. He opened up the diocese records and made an attempt to resolve this through mediation, but apparently that effort fell through. This is an attempt on the part of the Bishop to settle the lawsuits to (a) expeditiously address the pain of the actual victims and (b) to get the issue behind them so they can move forward with their responsibilities to current churchmembers and the poor of their diocese. Only a small percentage of the claims are against actual employees, and none of them against current employees, of the Diocese, btw.
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:49 PM   #10
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The obvious answer is that it probably didn't. This Bishop has decided not to fight these allegations, but instead to open the Diocese records and make every effort to minister to the souls of the alleged victims. He opened up the diocese records and made an attempt to resolve this through mediation, but apparently that effort fell through. This is an attempt on the part of the Bishop to settle the lawsuits to (a) expeditiously address the pain of the actual victims and (b) to get the issue behind them so they can move forward with their responsibilities to current churchmembers and the poor of their diocese. Only a small percentage of the claims are against actual employees, and none of them against current employees, of the Diocese, btw.
I'm not sure what you mean when you say it probably didn't. The very first sentence says the allegations covered 5 decades. What do you mean?
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Fish View Post
I'm not sure what you mean when you say it probably didn't. The very first sentence says the allegations covered 5 decades. What do you mean?
Primarily I mean that when you decide to settle a lawsuit like this with hundreds of plaintiffs, instead of fighting it on every detail, you're likely to end up allowing people who weren't really victims to share in the settlement.

Secondarily, I also mean that even if every one of them were a legitimate victim, they weren't all "butt raped" as you suggested.
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Old 02-10-2014, 02:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Fish View Post
362 kids over 5 decades? Damn. How the **** could that level of abuse persist for 5 decades?

And the resolution? "Sorry we buttraped hundreds of kids, here's some money so you can 'Turn the page'".

This quote was a little puzzling too:



These churches have insurance that specifically covers child rape settlements? Not only that, but they go so far as to reserve $2.5M knowing more victims will come forward?

How are these churches still in operation? I can't imagine being part of a congregation and being told we can't have new stuff or do renovations because they have to pay off their child rape victims.
Maybe if you go to that congregation you would feel that that was actually the way to spend the money.
Assuming the criminals are now gone.
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Old 02-10-2014, 02:03 PM   #13
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Sickening the catholic church allowed this type of behavior and played a shell game of transferring pedophile priests to other churches.
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Old 02-10-2014, 02:06 PM   #14
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Sickening the catholic church allowed this type of behavior and played a shell game of transferring pedophile priests to other churches.
That never really happened any more than "the American people allowed this type of behavior".
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Old 02-10-2014, 02:11 PM   #15
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That never really happened any more than "the American people allowed this type of behavior".
Oh yeah?

http://dailycaller.com/2013/12/24/fo...ophile-priest/

A man who says he was molested by three Catholic priests is suing the Archdiocese of Denver in federal court.

The suit alleges that church officials knew that one of the priests was a prolific pedophile, but covered up his activities by moving him to different posts where he continued to prey on children.

“This is the worst of the worst,” said Merit Bennett, the lawyer for former altar boy Eran McManemy of New Mexico, in an article in the Denver Post. “They allowed him to roam free — church to church, diocese to diocese, children to children. Not one of them picked up the phone and dialed 911, including Denver.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/12/24/fo...#ixzz2sx51JF49
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