New Mexico’s Catholic Archdiocese Files for Chapter 11 Protection | The Line

By | August 15, 2019


>>WELCOME BACK TO THE LINE. IT IS OFFICIAL, THE
ARCHDIOCESE OF SANTA FE WILL JOIN 19 OTHER DIOCESE
ORGANIZATIONS IN THE U.S. TO FILE FOR CHAPTER 11 BANKRUPTCY
PROTECTION. OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS, THE
ARCHDIOCESE HAS SPENT MILLIONS IN PAYOFFS TO VICTIMS OF
SEXUAL ABUSE BY PRIESTS AND THERE ARE ROUGHLY 40 ACTIVE
CLAIMS UNDERWAY. ARCHBISHOP SAYS THEY DON’T
HAVE FINANCES FOR ALL THESE SETTLEMENTS AND PAYOUTS AND
TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS AS WELL. THERE ARE SOME PLANS ABOUT HOW
TO USE THIS MONEY AND HOW THEY DEEM IT APPROPRIATE. YOUR TOP LINE VIEW ON THIS.>>CHAPTER 11 IS OFTEN
REFERRED TO AS A REORGANIZATION. SO IT IS NOT THE KIND OF
BANKRUPTCY WHERE YOU ARE LIKE, WE ARE GOING TO SHUT DOWN AND
SEE YOU GUYS LATER. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT CHAPTER
11 ALLOWS THEM TO DO THOUGH IS TO ESSENTIALLY SAY, LOOK, WE
KNOW THAT WE HAVE THESE CLAIMS AGAINST US, PLEASE COME
FORWARD NOW. WE HAVE THIS SET TIME PERIOD. I HAVEN’T HEARD THE DEADLINE
ANNOUNCED YET BUT WE HAVE A SET TIME PERIOD WHERE WE CAN
GATHER INFORMATION ABOUT CLAIMS. PLEASE COME FORWARD BECAUSE WE
HAVE A SET POT OF MONEY AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT
EVERYBODY WHO HAS CLAIMS COMES IN AND GETS THEIR PORTION OF
THAT MONEY. AT THE SAME TIME, THERE ARE
CONCERNS AND COMPLAINTS THAT THE ARCHDIOCESE HAS BEEN
MOVING MONEY OUT OF ITS TRUSTEE OVERSIGHT TO
INDIVIDUAL DIOCESE. THAT IS A PRETTY NORMAL THING
FOR ENTITIES LIKE THIS, LIKE THE CHURCH, TO DO. I KNOW THERE IS REAL CONCERN
ABOUT THAT, BUT WITHIN THE CHAPTER 11 PROCESS, THERE IS
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE U.S. TRUSTEE TO BE APPOINTED FROM
OUTSIDE OF THE CHURCH, AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE U.S.
TRUSTEE TO TEST WHETHER THESE WERE APPROPRIATE TRANSFERS FOR
THE VICTIMS TO ALL SEEK TO TEST THAT. AND, COMPARED TO OTHER TYPES
OF LITIGATION, WHERE WE HAVE SETTLEMENTS AND THINGS LIKE
THAT, TYPICALLY THIS IS PRETTY TRANSPARENT SO WE SHOULD
EXPECT TO HAVE A FAIR A AMOUNT OF INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT WENT
DOWN.>>GOOD SETUP THERE. I APPRECIATE THAT. MERRITT, THE IDEA THAT THE
MOVE IS A FINANCIAL ONE CERTAINLY BUT IS IT A GOOD
LOOK, AS THEY SAY OUT THERE? I AM HEARING SOPHIE’S POINT
BUT THAT IS THAT GOING TO FLY WITH THE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY?>>I MOVED TO NEW MEXICO WHEN
I WAS EIGHT AND IDENTIFY STRONGLY AS A CATHOLIC. MY GROWING UP EXPERIENCE HAS
BEEN IN NEW MEXICO. AND I THINK LIKE OTHER NEW
MEXICO CATHOLICS, WE WANT THIS TO STOP. OUR PRIESTS WANT THIS TO STOP,
BECAUSE THEY ARE THE FRONT LINE AMBASSADORS AND THEY ARE
THE COLLAR WEARING FOLKS WHO ARE GETTING — THEY ARE
RUNNING THEIR PARISHES AND DEDICATING THEIR LIVES TO
SERVICE AND DOING THE RIGHT THING. IF YOU LOOK AT THE ANALYSIS OF
THE CRISIS, YOU HAVE TO PREVENT THE BEHAVIOR, STOP THE
BEHAVIOR, MAKE WHAT REPAIRS YOU CAN. FINALLY WITH THE PUBLISHING OF
NAMES OF CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS, I THINK THAT IS HUGE AND THIS
POSITION ON THE TRANSPARENCY AND IT HAS BEEN SHOCKING TO ME
BECAUSE TWO PRIESTS GROWING UP WITH MY FAMILY ARE ON THIS
LIST AND THEY ARE NO LONGER ACTIVE, WHICH MEANS I KNOW
VICTIMS. THAT IS REALLY UPSETTING TO
ME. SO, I THINK THE CHURCH HAS TO
DECIDE WE HAVE TO MOVE ON FROM THIS, WE NEED TO CONTINUE
HELPING THE POOR AND LESS FORTUNATE AND DISENFRANCHISED
AND IF WE DON’T HAVE THE MONEY TO DO THAT, WE HAVE TO SET
THIS ASIDE. THIS IS THE POOL, THIS IS WHAT
WE HAVE. THERE IS NO AMOUNT OF MONEY
THAT COULD EVER MAKE THIS RIGHT. BUT WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO
CONTINUE AND PROVIDE COUNSELING AND BRING YOU BACK
INTO THE CHURCH. THAT IS WHERE I THINK THE
CHURCH NEEDS TO BE COMING FROM.>>GOOD POINT THERE. ADRIAN, THE AG IS
INVESTIGATING A COUPLE OF CASES RIGHT NOW AND, YOU KNOW,
THERE WAS — THEY GOT A SEARCH WARRANT FOR THE OFFICE HERE IN
ALBUQUERQUE. HAS THIS SPURRED SOME OF THIS
ALONG. IT SEEMS LIKE THE ARCHDIOCESE
HAD TO DO SOMETHING AT SOME POINT, NOW IT IS TIME.>>I THINK THAT WHAT I AM
SEEING AS A LAY PERSON WITH BANKRUPTCY AND THE CATHOLIC
CHURCH, YOU KNOW, I CONTINUE TO SEE WHEN THIS NEWS COMES
OUT, I SEE CONTINUOUS ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE HARM
THAT WAS COMMITTED BY THE CHURCH AND BY PEOPLE IN THE
CHURCH. AND I READ THE ARCHBISHOP’S
STATEMENT AND SOME OF THE THINGS THAT STUCK OUT TO ME
WAS THIS WAS A MOVE TO PROVIDE SUPPORT AND HEALING AND THAT
THEY WERE ACKNOWLEDGING THERE WAS HARM BY THEIR CLERGY AND,
YOU KNOW, FROM WHAT I CAN TELL ON THE OUTSIDE IS THAT THIS
MOVE DOES PROVIDE SOME PROTECTION TO THE CREDITORS,
WHICH ARE VICTIMS AND, YOU KNOW, I HOPE THAT THE CHURCH
KEEPS MAKING EFFORTS TO PROVIDE JUSTICE FOR SURVIVORS
AND, YOU KNOW, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO, I THINK — FOLKS WANT
THIS TO STOP AND EVERYBODY WANTS JUSTICE.>>ASKING VICTIMS TO COME
FORWARD, YOU KNOW, AS SOPHIE MENTIONED, THIS IS AN
INTERESTING BIT OF THIS TOO BECAUSE IF THERE IS A TIME
ISSUE, THAT IS A TOUGH THING. FOLKS COME FORWARD WHEN THEY
NEED TO COME FORWARD. JUST LIKE WE TALKED ABOUT WITH
RAPE KITS, YOU CAN’T JUST SAY, THERE IS A CERTAIN PERIOD OF
TIME FOR YOU TO COME FORWARD.>>AT SOME POINT PEOPLE HAVE
TO. YOU CAN’T HAVE AN ORGANIZATION
STAYING IN EXISTENCE THAT SAYS FOREVER WE HAVE TO CARRY THE
LIABILITY ON THE BALANCE SHEET. THE PROBLEM I HAVE WITH THIS
HAVING BEEN RAISED CATHOLIC, ATTENDING CATHOLIC SCHOOL, I
AM NOT HAPPY THAT IT SEEMS LIKE EVERY TIME THE CATHOLIC
CHURCH RESPONDS TO THIS OR SEEMS TO SAY, WE ARE MAKING A
CHANGE, IS AFTER SOME HORRIFIC NEWS. WE FIND OUT SOMETHING BAD HAS
HAPPENED AGAIN. AND I REMEMBER GOING TO CHURCH
FOR YEARS AND MY PARENTS GIVING TO THE BUILDING FUND
AND NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN WE HAVE INDIVIDUAL ENTITIES OUT
IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHATEVER
HAPPENS. WE COLLECTED MONEY THAT DIDN’T
STAY IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OR MY PARISH. IT WENT TO THE DIOCESE AND
DIOCESE WENT TO ROME AND THE VATICAN. IT IS A BIG BUSINESS
OPPORTUNITY. I HAVE A BAD FEELING THAT I AM
NOT SURE HOW MUCH THIS IS TO MAKE RIGHT AS MUCH THIS IS A
BID LIST.>>THE COOPERATION WITH LAW
ENFORCEMENT AND WE ARE SEEING THAT NATIONWIDE THAT IS THE
BIGGEST CHANGE IN THE U.S. CATHOLIC CHURCH IS THE
AMERICAN BISHOPS, INSTEAD OF TAKING CARE MUCH LIKE THE
MILITARY WITH THEIR OWN MILITARY CODE OF JUSTICE, THE
CHURCH IS SENDING PRIESTS TO SABBATICALS IN NEW MEXICO. THE CHANGE FROM HANDLING
INTERNALLY TO BEING TRANSPARENT, I THINK THIS
SHOWS A LOT –>>YOU ANTICIPATED SOMETHING I
WANTED SOPHIE TO — HOW IMPACTFUL WAS THE PENNSYLVANIA
SITUATION WHERE LAW ENFORCEMENT CAME INTO THE
SITUATION BECAUSE THEY HAD TO.>>SEEMS LIKE THE TIDE IS
TURNED. THERE HAS TO BE A PARTNERSHIP.>>THE TIDE HAS TURNED, AND MY
HOPE IS DECADES FROM NOW WE ARE NOT SITTING HERE SAYING,
WELL, IT HAPPENED AGAIN. BUT I ALSO THINK, YOU KNOW,
THERE IS ATTENTION BEING PAID BY OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT BY OUR
GOVERNMENT, YOU KNOW, WE ARE LOOKING AT IT IN A DIFFERENT
WAY. THERE WAS A TIME THAT NOT JUST
THE CHURCH BUT THE COMMUNITY SAID, THAT IS CHURCH BUSINESS. AND WE HAVE MOVED AWAY FROM
THAT. NOT JUST AS A STATE, NOT JUST
AS A COUNTRY, BUT AROUND THE WORLD WHEN YOU SEE THE
PROTESTS THAT HAPPENED IN IRELAND, I MEAN, JUST ABOUT
THE MOST CATHOLIC COUNTRY OUT THERE. THE CHURCH CANNOT SURVIVE
USING ITS OLD STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH THESE CRISES. AND, YOU KNOW, I CAN’T HELP
BUT HOPE THAT THE VICTIMS ARE, YOU KNOW — WE DON’T GET MORE
VICTIMS. HARD TO SAY.>>IT FEELS LIKE SOME THINGS
ARE MOVING FORWARD, SOME KIND OF MOMENTUM IS MOVING FORWARD. THAT IS ALL THE TIME WE FOR
THIS WEEK. IF YOU WANT TO WEIGH IN ON ANY
OF THE TOPICS WE DISCUSSED THIS WEEK, REACH OUT TO US AT
NEWMEXICOINFOCUS.ORG OR JOIN THE FUN FACEBOOK GROUP,
FOCUS ON NEWMEXICO.

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