Friday, December 7, 2007
Dialogue # 11
picture: Copyright 2007 www.mmorgenstern.com
One writer asks:
What are the real reasons behind the dioceses filing for Chapter 11 protection? Is it all about money?
Father Tom Doyle and I have served as consultants and expert witnesses in civil cases of clergy abuse in all five dioceses that have so far filed for bankruptcy.
Therefore we were required to review the evidence in the abuse cases facing these dioceses involved in that process. In addition, Tom has served as an expert witness in the bankruptcy proceedings themselves having had to explain how the institutional church owns property.
No diocese states openly that it fears disclosure of scandalous or perhaps criminal behavior contained in documents that any civil trial would expose, but the circumstances provide irrefutable evidence that such is the case. The process of filing for bankruptcy stops all discovery and halts all cases of abuse from going forward.
Is there a possibility that a diocese may go broke and loose everything?
No danger, even remote, of financial disaster exists in any of the dioceses that are appealing for this civil protection. In fact, the proceedings have forced to the surface facts that reveal the dioceses have significant holdings they intentionally covered up, diverted or otherwise underestimated. Between 88 and 95 percent of all the funding for Catholic Charities across the country come from secular and government sources.
The proceedings in the diocese of San Diego are exposing the manipulation of assets and the intrigue surrounding its attempt to justify itself before a federal judge. [Check The San Diego Union Tribune April 2007 by Mark Sauer & Sandi Dolbee] Somehow they overlooked assets of 65 to 400 million dollars. The Federal Judge appointed her own auditor to get the facts straight. The diocese will have to pay for this service.
No diocese has actually declared bankruptcy. They have all filed for protection. In every instance each diocese filed for protection shortly before a civil trial or series of trials for clergy sexual abuse was to start. Every one of those cases would expose some very damning information.
See also ”God, Incorporated” in the July 2007 edition of San Diego Magazine.