NEW ORLEANS, La. — The Archdiocese of New Orleans is preparing to file bankruptcy as soon as Friday, May 1, according to our media partners at the Advocate.
The Advocate is reporting that the bankruptcy filing comes as the mounting cost of unresolved clergy-abuse lawsuits and the shutdown of church services due to the coronavirus deliver crushing blows to church finances.
The 227-year-old local institution serving half a million New Orleans-area Catholics will join 26 other American dioceses and Catholic religious orders that have sought financial protection from creditors and claimants since the clergy-abuse scandal reached a fever pitch in 2002, the newspaper reports.
Despite filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the archdiocese is expected to continue ministering to its parishioners and operate in relatively normal fashion.
As in other recent diocesan bankruptcies, churches will still hold Mass and schools and various ministries will likely continue to teach students and perform their duties to the community whenever restrictions associated with the pandemic are lifted.
But under pressure from creditors, including investors holding $38 million in bonds and abuse victims with potentially millions of dollars in claims, Archbishop Gregory Aymond and other church leaders may eventually be forced into some of the same kinds of bitter choices that followed Hurricane Katrina, when a reorganization plan closed dozens of churches and merged parishes across the metro New Orleans area.
To read the full article from the Advocate, click here.
To read KATC's coverage of clergy sex abuse in Acadiana, click here.
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