Montana Diocese Forced to Use Donations and Sell Property to Pay Sexual Abuse Victims
HELENA – August 6, 2018
Scandals over sexual abuse involving by a number of Catholic priests have become commonplace in the U.S. One of the last scandals of this kind has caught the public's attention and ire in the state of Montana, local media reports.
The Great Falls-Billings Diocese plans to pull from parishes a third of its share of a proposed $20 million settlement with sexual abuse victims. Drawing from savings and selling off unused property will cover the rest, it hopes.
The plan to pay victims is still somewhat tentative, pending approval by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jim Pappas. A confirmation hearing is set for Aug. 14 in Butte. The 86 victims must also sign off on the plan, although attorneys in the case expect it to pass easily. Ballots are due Tuesday.
Before filing for bankruptcy in 2017, the diocese had already settled multiple sexual abuse lawsuits, according to a court filing on prospective future claims.