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Cardinal Law Gets OK to File Bankruptcy
Washington Post ^ | 12/4/02 | Justin Pope

Posted on 12/04/2002 7:54:50 PM PST by Itzlzha

BOSTON –– A financial panel of the Boston Archdiocese gave Cardinal Bernard Law permission Wednesday to file for bankruptcy as the church tries to settle potentially crippling lawsuits in the priest sex abuse scandal. Law would need approval from the Vatican before filing for bankruptcy.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bankruptcy; cardinallaw; criminalenterprise; legalmaneuvering
Interesting...apparently the need to protect assets outweighs the victims and the legal fees required to get Bernie Law to admit to what was done under his rule...
1 posted on 12/04/2002 7:54:50 PM PST by Itzlzha
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To: Itzlzha
The Boston Archdiocese has already been morally bankrupt for years now. My wife grew up a Catholic and she can't even step inside a Catholic church these days. We are both so repulsed.
2 posted on 12/04/2002 7:57:24 PM PST by SamAdams76
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: Polycarp; NYer
Ping
4 posted on 12/04/2002 7:58:17 PM PST by Barnacle
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To: Itzlzha
I wonder who will buy his pad, and what it will be used for? Perhaps for a think tank or foundation, or for an offsite facility for a university perhaps.
5 posted on 12/04/2002 7:58:49 PM PST by Torie
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To: Itzlzha
Can the victims sue the parent company?
6 posted on 12/04/2002 8:01:47 PM PST by breakem
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To: Itzlzha
Why not just demand reparations from all Catholics?
7 posted on 12/04/2002 8:11:07 PM PST by Gary Boldwater
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To: Itzlzha
I truly have been reluctant to criticize the Church on this matter. I'm not Catholic and I think I have no right to criticize them. But (you knew that was coming, right?) I do think that time and time again, throughout this entire scandal, Cardinal Law has consistently proven that he just does not care about the victims.

Some months ago, as I recall, The archdiocese of Boston declared that all the scandalous information about priests had been released. They'd gone back literally for decades and put it all out there. One hundred percent. Really covered everything.

Oops! We just found out about a whole sackful of new stuff -- involving priests with teenage girl friends and cocaine parties and such. Sickening. They were hoping that would remain hidden. Even at this late date, they're trying to protect priests and let the victims suffer alone.

8 posted on 12/04/2002 8:12:59 PM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: SamAdams76
The more interesting question will be whether the suits against the Church will be amended to include intentional torts, rather than mere negligence. Judgements based upon intentional torts are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
9 posted on 12/04/2002 8:17:17 PM PST by CatoRenasci
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To: Itzlzha
Why doesn't the Catholic Church do what the Protestants do when a clergyperson is involved in sin. Bounce 'em and slam the door behind 'em.

In the Presbyterian system, the Session (governing board of each local church) would rescind the church's call to that person, give him a settlement of sorts, and he'd be gone within a few months. Then they'd start advertising for a replacement.

10 posted on 12/04/2002 8:23:20 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: ClearCase_guy
The victims are victims. The rest of the Catholics in the archdiocese have not done anything to the victims - the archbishop, Law, did. Thus the rest of the Catholics in the archdiocese are also victims of Law. Maybe they can sue Law to prevent him from selling or giving away their parish properties? That way everyone can be a victim and sue, sue, sue. The lawyers will all get rich. And the Catholic-haters will continue to reach sexual climax at the folly of it all.
11 posted on 12/04/2002 8:23:54 PM PST by Notwithstanding
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To: CatoRenasci
Ya, but you still need to pierce the corporate veil, and the individuals involved are impecunious relatively speaking. So non-dischargeability is a non-issue. A new entity with new money will be created.
12 posted on 12/04/2002 8:24:37 PM PST by Torie
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To: CatoRenasci
"intentional torts are not dischargeable in bankruptcy"

The offsetting consideration is that they are usually excluded from coverage in the insurance policies.
13 posted on 12/04/2002 8:45:51 PM PST by APBaer
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To: APBaer
Indeed, that's been the problem in many of these cases: it was necessary to sound in negligence in order to go for the insurance coverage.
14 posted on 12/04/2002 8:57:54 PM PST by CatoRenasci
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To: Itzlzha
When it comes to sexual abuse of children by 'priests' the catholic church is a criminal enterprise. It should be treated as such, using the RICO statutes.
15 posted on 12/04/2002 9:59:37 PM PST by jimkress
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To: Itzlzha
Law is now offically morally bankrupt.
16 posted on 12/05/2002 3:57:27 AM PST by chiefqc
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To: Barnacle; Siobhan; american colleen; sinkspur; livius; Lady In Blue; Salvation; Polycarp; narses; ..
A bankruptcy filing would put litigation against the archdiocese on hold. It could also help the archdiocese get a better handle on what it will owe alleged victims, which could in turn assuage donors who have yanked support from the church because of the abuse scandal.

This is an interesting scenario ... a test case for other dioceses that find themselves in a similar situation. LA immediately comes to mind.

In a related development, Appearing at a public forum at Albany Law School, Bishop Howard Hubbard replied to pointed criticism from angry Catholics and victims of clergy sexual abuse Tuesday night with repeated apologies and assurances that new church rules have excised pedophiles from the priesthood.

"We have a bishop in charge who has committed fabrications, concealment and payoffs," said Walt Pologa, a retired accountant from Albany.

"We trusted you, you are a man of the cloth. These children who were molested were youngsters who had no one to protect them. I ask you Bishop Hubbard, what do you intend to do to have this be more open?"

On the surface, Hubbard has put on a contrite expression but all reports indicate that victims are still being ignored. FULL TEXT

17 posted on 12/05/2002 6:19:38 AM PST by NYer
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To: smevin
"There's no BK protection at the Pearly Gates."

LOL...

In fact Cardinal Law may find himself surprised that the elevator may be going down.

18 posted on 12/05/2002 6:26:44 AM PST by F16Fighter
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To: NYer
Oh, you all in Albany have my sympathy.

We lucked out here. Not only have the perverts been kicked out all along and once and for all, but this archbishop is letting lay people help with finances and financially we're in really good shape. And all suits have either been dropped or not gone to trial for lack of evidence.

The poor people in Boston...that it would come to this. And then with LA still sitting - talk about a time bomb. That's going to be a nightmare. Hey maybe we'll luck out and Mahoney will get himself excommunicated.
19 posted on 12/05/2002 6:46:52 AM PST by Desdemona
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To: NYer
A bankruptcy makes sense - on the analogy of companies which are beleaguered by asbestos lawsuits.

The analogy works: many companies have thousands and thousands of such asbestos suits against them - but only a fraction of the suits are filed by people who are (a) actually sick and (b) were actually injured by the party they are suing. They're just going after deep pockets. It costs nothing to add one's name to a class action lawsuit, one can add one's name anonymously and the chances of someone being made liable for frivolous or false litigation is minimal.

The Church finds itself in a similar situation - a certain number of people have been grievously injured. However, anyone can just anonymously accuse a priest of abusing them, add their name to a lawsuit and not get in trouble if they're later found out to be lying.

A bankruptcy allows the diocese to evaluate claims and make sure that the people who were actually harmed are compensated, while ferreting out adventurers and lars.

20 posted on 12/05/2002 7:02:11 AM PST by wideawake
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To: Notwithstanding
The victims are victims. The rest of the Catholics in the archdiocese have not done anything to the victims - the archbishop, Law, did. Thus the rest of the Catholics in the archdiocese are also victims of Law. Maybe they can sue Law to prevent him from selling or giving away their parish properties?

An interesting idea; and I do agree that just like when the Gubmint screws up, WE the citizens pay, not those who did the screwing.

My problem is that a LOT of RCC parishioners have worn the requisite Blinders-MK I, whenever ANY whiff of impropriety occurs in the RCC, and have worn them for years!
Where is the outrage at the Homosexual/Pedohilic/Apostacies in Cassocks that brought this on?

That way everyone can be a victim and sue, sue, sue. The lawyers will all get rich. And the Catholic-haters will continue to reach sexual climax at the folly of it all.

Ah, question answered...Blinders-MK I securely fastened, SIR!

Oh, BTW..."The victims are victims"...nice sympathy/compassion there. Tell it to the kids who committed SUICIDE because of what was done to them!
Were they supposed to go to ANOTHER Priest/Bishop to tell what happened to them, and risk being used/exploited/threatened?

Just shows that when the veneer is stripped off, The RCC is a business more concerned with it's assets than it's real business...the spiritual well being of the faithful!

21 posted on 12/05/2002 9:57:37 AM PST by Itzlzha
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To: Itzlzha
Ah, but those suicides don't count. They all went to hell, according to dogma.

If your wife runs off with a priest, and you remarry after the divorce, you go to hell, unless you pay a bunch of money to get an annulment - which might or might not happen.

But if you're an Archbishop who marries a moonie despite orders not to, and repent after being told that finally you might lose your stripes. Molest bunches of kids and cause them to reject the church, but you repent toward the end of your life, you go to heaven while those kids go to hell.

If you want to be a married clergyman, forget it because celibacy is mandatory and sex is sinful - unless, of course, you're in the Eastern Rite, where it isn't sinful, and from which many dollars flow.

22 posted on 12/05/2002 10:06:43 AM PST by Chancellor Palpatine
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To: NYer
Don't you think that this bankruptcy plea is like waving a red flag for the Bankruptcy Court to go over the books of parishes with a fine tooth comb and make them a matter of public record?

I'm sorry but it's just too pat a response to be a good thing, IMHO, and -- though I can't put it into words as yet -- threatens to radically transform the Person Corporation currently being prosecuted into liable for far more than the actions of its priests/employees.

23 posted on 12/06/2002 6:14:53 PM PST by Askel5
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To: Itzlzha
There's always the stuff in the Vatican Museums. They could take a few masterpieces out of petty cash.
24 posted on 12/06/2002 6:23:36 PM PST by TiaS
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To: Askel5
Don't you think that this bankruptcy plea is like waving a red flag for the Bankruptcy Court to go over the books of parishes with a fine tooth comb and make them a matter of public record?

I don't know what to think, quite frankly. Cardinal Law can't declare bankruptcy without Vatican approval. To date, the pope has done nothing to remove Law, despite the cardinal's request to step down. Is this a clever ploy on the part of Cardinal Law to evade further questioning? Or, perhaps, the cardinal is using "attention getting" devices to attract Rome's attention.

Here in Albany, Bishop Hubbard is "going through the motions" to show his congregants that he is a man of action and compliant with the directives of the USCCB. Are these moves "genuine" or "disingenuous"? Only God can read the hearts of men.

25 posted on 12/06/2002 6:32:22 PM PST by NYer
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To: NYer
Cardinal Law is the Don of a large criminal enterprise. When was the last time the Mafia was allowed to declare bankruptcy to get off the hook for their crimes? RICO should apply to the Diocese of Boston.

Instead of looking for the Church or the Pope to clean up this mess, the Attorney General of Massachusetts should convene a grand jury for the specific purpose of nailing Bernie Law.
26 posted on 12/06/2002 7:53:45 PM PST by Palladin
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To: Palladin
A BOSTON GLOBE EDITORIAL

Cardinal's duty


12/5/2002

BISHOP ROBERT J. Banks has left Boston. So have Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes, Bishop Thomas V. Daily, and Bishop John B. McCormack. Cardinal Humberto S. Medeiros has been dead for 19 years. Of all the leading church figures implicated in the coverup of clerical abuse newly revealed this week, only Cardinal Bernard F. Law remains in the Boston Archdiocese, and his determination to continue as archbishop undermines the Catholic Church's standing in Boston.


Without Law, it would be easier to address the financial crisis caused by the lawsuits filed by people who say they have been sexually abused by priests. Many Catholics would end their informal financial boycott of archdiocesan programs, and new leadership would be better able to tap the energy of lay Catholics to resolve the crisis in ways that are fair to the victims yet supportive of the church's philanthropic and religious activities.

If Law were no longer in power, there would be much less friction with activist lay and clerical groups, who feel deeply estranged from his leadership. A new archbishop would also be able to expound Catholic positions on social issues to the wider community - a role for which Law has lost moral credibility.

Over the last several weeks, Law has elevated his public profile and sought to make amends to victims of sexual abuse. ''I have the pain of someone who made terrible mistakes and caused you pain,'' he said before a victims group in October.

Isolated mistakes did not bring on the crisis. Rather, it was a matter of deliberate policy, under Medeiros and Law, to cover up wrongdoing by priests, including sexual abuse, drug use, or assault. This is made plain by the 2,200 pages of church documents released Tuesday.

In his deposition in the Paul R. Shanley case, Law tried to wriggle out of responsibility for the cover-up. Even though he delegated much of the work to Daily, Banks, McCormack, and other subordinates, his imprint is all over the policy. By the mid-1980s, when victims were beginning to disclose their past history of abuse, Law through his secretary brushed off a letter requesting a meeting with a person alleging abuse by Shanley and two other priests. The message was clear: The church must be kept free of scandal even if it meant putting young people at risk.

Law, in his meeting with victims, said he would resign if the pope requested it. In the deposition he said, ''My mission is to try to see that the church does the right thing in the right way.''

The pope is aging and infirm, and the Vatican perhaps does not grasp the impact of the abuse scandal at its epicenter in Boston. Law has a personal responsibility to do whatever he can to repair the grievous damage already done to the archdiocese. His resignation would be the right thing to do.

This story ran on page A18 of the Boston Globe on 12/5/2002.
© Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.






For complete coverage of the priest abuse scandal, go to http://www.boston.com/globe/abuse
27 posted on 12/06/2002 8:25:46 PM PST by Palladin
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To: NYer
Only God can read the hearts of men.

Well ... I'll leaving the judging of their hearts to Him but still am attempting to read their Telltale Heart.

Got to be a reason for the splashes that keep coming from Boston way and ripple throughout AmChurch.

28 posted on 12/06/2002 9:52:15 PM PST by Askel5
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To: Palladin; Notwithstanding
RICO should apply to the Diocese of Boston.

I figured everyone knew this much was coming.

Interesting to see this course championed here.

29 posted on 12/06/2002 9:53:38 PM PST by Askel5
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

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