ALBANY, New York — The embattled Catholic Diocese of Albany became the latest diocese in New York to seek bankruptcy protection Wednesday as it faces hundreds of lawsuits alleging sexual abuse.
Bishop Edward Scharfenberger announced the Chapter 11 filing after months of negotiations between the upstate New York diocese and lawyers representing plaintiffs over a potential settlement.
The Albany diocese, like others in the state, is dealing with a deluge of lawsuits dating to when New York temporarily suspended the statute of limitations to give victims of childhood abuse the ability to pursue even decades-old allegations against clergy members, teachers, Boy Scout leaders and others.
“The decision to file was not arrived at easily and I know it may cause pain and suffering, but we, as a Church, can get through this and grow stronger together,” Scharfenberger said in a release.
The bishop said that as cases brought under the state’s Child Victims Act were settled, “our limited self-insurance funds which have been paying those settlements, have been depleted.” He said the bankruptcy filing was the best way to ensure that all survivors with pending litigation receive some compensation.
The action halts legal actions against the diocese and will allow