San Francisco Catholic Diocese Bankruptcy Filing Leaves Clergy Abuse Survivors in Limbo

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Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul are part of San Francisco's archdiocese (budgetstockphoto via Getty Images)

Faced with more than 500 lawsuits stemming from clergy sexual abuse, the San Francisco Catholic diocese last week said it had no choice but to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone wrote, “the bankruptcy process is the best way to provide a compassionate and equitable solution” for abuse survivors. But victims say the bankruptcy is just a ploy to deprive them of justice and their day in court. San Francisco’s move to seek bankruptcy relief follows similar filings by the Oakland and Santa Rosa dioceses, following multiple clergy abuse lawsuits. Across the country, more than 30 dioceses have have sought bankruptcy protection. We’ll talk with experts about what it all means for the church, its faithful, and abuse survivors.


Sophia Bollag, reporter, San Francisco Chronicle

Michael O'Loughlin, national correspnodent and associate editor, America: The Jesuit Review - O'Loughlin has covered the Catholic church for both the Boston Globe and Crux. He is the author of "Hidden Mercy: AIDS, Catholics and the Untold Stories of Compassion in the Face of Fear"

Joey Piscitelli, northwest group leader, SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) - Piscitelli, a survivor of clergy abuse, won a judgment against the Salesian order following a trial in 2006 in Contra Costa County

Marie Reilly, professor of Law, Penn State University - Reilly is an expert in bankruptcy. Her published work includes studies of Catholic dioceses in bankruptcy

Rick Simons , attorney, Simons is counsel or co-counsel on 75 individual clergy abuse lawsuits filed in Northern California. He also serves as the Northern California court liaison for the 1,600 clergy abuse cases filed against various Northern California dioceses