Diocese of Helena Files for Bankruptcy Protection Following Laws - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Diocese of Helena Files for Bankruptcy Protection Following Lawsuits

Posted: Updated:

Tonight's top story comes out of the Capital City. After two lawsuits, the Diocese of Helena has filed for bankruptcy protection. ABC Montana's Joe Moeller brings us the full report.

On Friday the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena filed for bankruptcy protection from possible settlements for two lawsuits from 2011. They claim clergy members of the church sexually abused roughly 362 individuals, who are now between the ages of 30 and 60.

Lawsuits filed claim clergy members groomed and abused children from the 1940's through 1970's, and that the diocese tried covering it up.  

"I can tell you back in the 1950's certainly in the 1960's and 70's I think sadly a lot of this is driven not by a desire to cover up, but an ignorance of the nature of child abuse. " said Helena Bishop George Leo Thomas.

The diocese which spreads across 23 counties and employs 200 people in Western Montana filed the chapter 11 bankruptcy after confidential mediation sessions with the plaintiffs attorneys. The agreement could also include a list of credibly accused offenders being released.

"I am certainly committed to publishing the names of those who are credibly accused, I think it is also important for us to publish the venues where they served over the years because there may be outstanding victims that have not yet come forward. I think that is also very important." added Thomas. 

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Montana would be responsible for the $15 million, depending on approval, and supervising of the disbursement of the compensation to victims. In addition the filing also allows for a future claims pool of funds set aside for those who come forward at a later time.

The majority of the proposed settlement of known and unknown victims will be funded by insurance carriers, and it is anticipated the diocese, whose yearly budget is $1.7 million, will provide at least $2.5 million of the settlement.

"One behalf the church and Diocese of Helena, in the name of all the people in the Diocese of Helena, I wanted to express my profound sorrow and apology for which you have undergone. I know the pain is real, the pain is in the present tense and in the name of the Church I want to say we are sorry as a Church." said Thomas.

Now the two parties are still in the mediation process and once they do come to an agreement the diocese expects to release the list of credibly accused in one to three months. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Latest in The Adam Sanchez Case

    Latest in The Adam Sanchez Case

    The latest in the story of fallen Cascade County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Dunn who lost his life this past Thursday.
    The latest in the story of fallen Cascade County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Dunn who lost his life this past Thursday.
  • Funeral and Procession Route for Fallen Deputy Joe Dunn Announced

    Funeral and Procession Route for Fallen Deputy Joe Dunn Announced

    Funeral arrangements for fallen Cascade County Sheriff's Deputy, Joseph Dunn, will be held on Thursday, August 21st at 1:00PM at the Four Seasons Arena, also known as the Montana ExpoPark, in Great Falls.An initial procession preceding the ceremony for law enforcement vehicles leaving Montana Air and National Guard will begin at 11:30AM. The planned route is as follows: - The procession will get on the interstate and take the Central Avenue West Exit. - It will then travel to 6th Street Nor...
    Funeral arrangements for fallen Cascade County Sheriff's Deputy, Joseph Dunn, will be held on Thursday, August 21st at 1:00PM at the Four Seasons Arena, also known as the Montana ExpoPark, in Great Falls.An initial procession preceding the ceremony for law enforcement vehicles leaving Montana Air and National Guard will begin at 11:30AM. The planned route is as follows: - The procession will get on the interstate and take the Central Avenue West Exit. - It will then travel to 6th Street Nor...
  • In Cahoots For Tea

    In Cahoots For Tea

    Enjoy Candy Masterpiece
  • Local Organizations host Poker Run to support Fallen Deputy

    Local Organizations host Poker Run to support Fallen Deputy

    Kickstands will go up on Saturday as the Masonic Motorcycle club joins Set Free Ministries for a Poker Run that will benefit the family of Fallen Cascade County Deputy Joe Dunn who was killed last week in the line of duty.
    Kickstands will go up on Saturday as the Masonic Motorcycle club joins Set Free Ministries for a Poker Run that will benefit the family of Fallen Cascade County Deputy Joe Dunn who was killed last week in the line of duty.
  • Gov. Bullock Tours Anderson Steel

    Gov. Bullock Tours Anderson Steel

    Governor Steve Bullock was in Great Falls this morning to promote the Main Street Montana Project and to show its purpose.
    Governor Steve Bullock was in Great Falls this morning to promote the Main Street Montana Project and to show its purpose.
  • Family of Fallen deputy to receive over $20,000

    Family of Fallen deputy to receive over $20,000

    There,s been a community out pour of support for fallen Cascade County Deputy Joe Dunn and his family. Flags and flowers fill marker 77 on highway 89 where the deputy was killed in the line of duty. Cory Smith, CEO of 221 industries was compelled to create a GoFund Me page for the family.
    There,s been a community out pour of support for fallen Cascade County Deputy Joe Dunn and his family. Flags and flowers fill marker 77 on highway 89 where the deputy was killed in the line of duty. Cory Smith, CEO of 221 industries was compelled to create a GoFund Me page for the family.
  • A New Approach to Wildfire Protection

    A New Approach to Wildfire Protection

    In moments of disaster, things can be hectic and life seems to be turned upside down. That's why the red cross launched a new app to provide aide during wildfires.
    In moments of disaster, things can be hectic and life seems to be turned upside down. That's why the red cross launched a new app to provide aide during wildfires.
Powered by WorldNow

Sports

  • Sports
  • Community

  • Community
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Max Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.