A decision is expected soon from the leaders of Davenport’s Catholic Diocese who are considering filing for bankruptcy following numerous sex abuse lawsuits. Helen Burke says her son was molested by a Davenport priest 40 years ago. Burke says she learned of the abuse from her son’s ex-wife who accused her of being a bad mother. Burke is joining with SNAP – the nation’s largest survivor support group for victims of sex abuse by priests — in asking the diocese -not- to file bankruptcy. SNAP is sending Bishop William Franklin a letter urging him to hold open meetings to talk about the decision. Mike Hitch says he was molested by his Davenport priest in the 1960s and it was only two years ago that he started to talk openly about it. The Davenport diocese faces 16 civil lawsuits over sex abuse allegations. 22 other cases are in mediation. The first case is scheduled to go to trial November first. The diocese claims bankruptcy may be the only way to fairly compensate victims of abuse, saying the assets of the diocese could be quickly exhausted if the cases go to trial.
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