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Friday, June 05 2020 @ 12:42 AM CDT

Jesuits file for bankruptcy in wake of sex abuse suits (Hope the Judge Puts them Out of Business forever!)

Whited Sepulchers

by Ashton Goodell

Advocates for sex abuse victims say there is still time to file claims against the Jesuits of the Oregon Province.

The Jesuits filed for bankruptcy Tuesday because of numerous lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests. Among them, nearly 200 Alaska Natives.

Members of a victim's advocacy group, called the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP, say the Jesuits are using the bankruptcy as a way to avoid testifying against the accused priests.

In a written statement the Jesuit order said, "Our hope is that by filing Chapter 11, we can begin to bring this sad chapter in our Province's history to an end.

"We continue to pray for all those who have been hurt by the actions of a few men, so that they can receive the healing and reconciliation that they deserve."

With the number of claims pending, the Jesuits say bankruptcy was the only way to get a fair financial settlement.

But victims say bankruptcy will conceal the truth.

"Mostly what it does is it ensures that victims won't get their day in court," said Barbara Blaine, president of SNAP. "And that's what victims are looking for more than anything is an acknowledgement of the truth, and exposure of the truth. It will delay any resolution for those victims for months, probably years."

The Jesuits paid millions of dollars in settlements last year. The bankruptcy filing lists the assets at $5 million and liabilities at more than $61 million.

SNAP says victims should still come forward before the filing deadline closes under the bankruptcy.

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