JUDAS PRIEST: Wilmington Catholic Diocese Declares Bankruptcy To Block Clergy Sex Abuse Trial

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[“Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X” by FRANCIS BACON]

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Delaware’s Catholic Diocese of Wilmington filed for federal bankruptcy protection on Sunday night, on the eve of a civil trial in a high-profile sex abuse case against the diocese and a former priest.The bankruptcy filing automatically delays the case in Kent County Superior Court, the first of eight consecutive abuse trials scheduled in Delaware. The diocese covers Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland and serves about 230,000 Catholics. It is the seventh U.S. diocese to file for bankruptcy since allegations erupting seven years ago against Catholic clergy in Boston. Thomas Neuberger, an attorney representing 88 alleged victims, described the bankruptcy filing as a “desperate effort to hide the truth from the public and conceal the thousands of pages of scandalous documents” from being made public in court. “This filing is the latest, sad chapter in the diocese’s decades long ‘cover-up’ of these despicable crimes, to maintain the secrecy surrounding its responsibility and complicity in the sexual abuse of hundreds of Catholic children,” Neuberger said in a statement. Civil liability is the only recourse for victims of abuse that happened long ago because the U.S. Supreme Court has said states cannot change the statute of limitations for criminal cases. Neuberger said the diocese’s action may mean some sick and aging victims — some who claim they were abused when they were as young as 8 — could die before getting their day in court. MORE

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