The Davenport Catholic Diocese has given a judge a list of four-and-a-half million dollars worth of assets that can be sold as part of bankruptcy proceedings.
Last month the diocese was ordered to pay one-and-a-half million dollars to a man who said a priest had sexually-abused him. Other men have filed lawsuits, alleging priests in the diocese abused them, too.
David Montgomery, a spokesman for the diocese, says the aim of the bankruptcy filing is not to escape paying judgments to people who’ve won lawsuits. He says the purpose is to be fair to the victims, so the court will hear all the claims when it parcels out money from the church assets, instead of “taking them one at a time through the court system.”
Critics say, however, that the bankruptcy will set a deadline and any further victims who come forward will be unable to make a claim even if they also prove they were molested and suffered because of it.
Also this week, Bishop William Franklin announced he’s leaving, and a new bishop’s been brought from the Cleveland Diocese to head the Davenport Diocese.