The recent declaration of bankruptcy by the Archdiocese of Baltimore has sent shockwaves through the Catholic Church community and the legal world alike. As we approach the implementation of the Child Victims Act in Maryland, the move raises critical questions about accountability, transparency, and justice for victims of child sexual abuse within the Church.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore's Bankruptcy Declaration
The Maryland's Child Victims Act eliminates the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse victims seeking legal recourse, the Archdiocese of Baltimore filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This strategic move is aimed at limiting the Archdiocese's potential financial liability and protecting its assets in the face of a substantial wave of expected lawsuits related to historical child sexual abuse.
Archbishop William E. Lori, the highest-ranking Catholic cleric in Maryland, made it clear that this decision was driven by a desire to safeguard the Church's financial future. If a bankruptcy plan is approved by the court, it would prevent future claims for past cases of abuse against the Church.
Seeking Accountability and Justice
Critics argue that the bankruptcy filing is an attempt to evade accountability. Lawyers representing child sexual abuse survivors emphasize the importance of acknowledging the Church's historical complicity in enabling systemic abuse and engaging in cover-ups.
The road ahead involves a complex financial reorganization process, which Archbishop Lori anticipates will take two to three years. During this time, the bankruptcy court will accept claims from victim-survivors before entering negotiations to provide compensation.
Miller Stern Lawyers LLC: Committed to Pursuing Justice
Miller Stern Lawyers LLC stands with survivors and their families, dedicated to pursuing justice and financial compensation for victims of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church. Our team of legal professionals has a proven track record in handling such cases, with settlements and verdicts totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.
Your voice matters, and we are committed to supporting survivors on their journey towards healing and accountability. If you or your child has been a victim of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, we are here to help.