(KTXL) — In a letter, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento said the number of claims regarding alleged clergy sexual abuse could lead to insolvency.
Bishop Jaime Soto said more than 200 lawsuits were filed when the statute of limitations was extended by California law.
“Given the number of claims that have been presented, however, resolving them may overwhelm the diocese’s finances available to satisfy such claims,” Soto wrote.
“This financial challenge is unlike anything we have faced before. I must consider what options are available to us, should the diocese become insolvent,” he continued.
Whether the diocese becomes insolvent and has to file for bankruptcy will become more clear around summer, according to the diocese.
The cases are being managed through a special proceeding in an Alameda County Court, and the diocese said that as it learns more about the number of cases and the individual claims, its financial standing will be more apparent.
Should the diocese face insolvency, it said it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to allow for its operations to continue while having its financial commitments managed.
According to the diocese, properties and financial holdings will likely be sold off, and any money being paid to victims will also be coming from donations as the diocese is supported through contributions.