SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego mentioned Friday it might declare chapter within the coming months because it faces “staggering” authorized prices in coping with some 400 lawsuits alleging clergymen and others sexually abused youngsters.
In a letter that was anticipated to be shared with parishioners this weekend, Bishop Robert McElroy mentioned the circumstances had been filed after California lifted a statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse claims.
Meeting Invoice 218, which was signed into regulation in 2019, permits alleged victims to sue up till age 40. Additionally, starting in 2020, it opened a three-year window for submitting lawsuits with out age limitations.
Many of the alleged abuse cited within the fits came about 50 to 75 years in the past, and the earliest declare dates to 1945, Kevin Eckery, communications director for the diocese, mentioned at a Friday information convention, KNSD-TV reported.
Eckery predicted that it will price the diocese $550 million to settle the circumstances, none of which have gone to trial.
In his letter, the bishop mentioned not one of the fits contain allegations in opposition to any at the moment serving priest. “This displays the fact that the Church has taken huge steps to root out the sexual abuse of minors in its life and to advertise the safety of minors,” McElroy wrote.
Even so, the diocese is going through “staggering” authorized prices and most of its property had been used to settle earlier allegations with a $198 million payout in 2007, McElroy wrote.
“Even with insurance coverage, the diocese will be unable to pay out comparable sums now,” the letter mentioned. “This problem is compounded by the truth that a invoice has now been launched into the Legislature that seeks to eradicate the statute of limitations solely, leaving the diocese weak to potential lawsuits endlessly.”
Chapter would “present a pathway” for the diocese to compensate sexual abuse victims whereas persevering with to run its ministries, the bishop mentioned.
The diocese has greater than 100 energetic clergymen and covers San Diego and Imperial counties, an space of greater than 8,800 sq. miles (about 22,800 sq. kilometers) with a Catholic inhabitants of practically 1.4 million, in keeping with its web site.