Precinct 333

Monday, June 21, 2004

Diocese to file Chapter 11?

Settlements and judgements related to sexual abuse cases may force the Diocese of Tucson to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to Bishop Gerald Kicanas. In order to make adequate provisions for pastoral work and settlements (both current and future), the diocese will be forced to take action in the face of high settlement demands from plaintiff's lawyers.

This raises a number of questions, but the biggest is this -- how can a court appointed trustee administer the operation of a Catholic diocese? Does this create a church/state separation problem, especially if the trustee/administrator and the bishop disagree on priorities and what is needed to provide for the mission of the Church? This could be quite interesting.

On a personal note, the Diocese of Tucson and its bishop are certainly in my prayers. I first met Bishop Kicanas 15 years ago when he was rector of my seminary. I have taken classes from him, eaten meals with him, and spilled my guts out to him. Rarely have I met a man of greater decency and personal holiness. Hang in there, Jerry.


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