The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego could be facing bankruptcy in the coming months, according to a letter signed by the Bishop of San Diego, Robert Cardinal McElroy.
Reverend Efrain Bautista told CBS 8 they mailed the letters out to parishioners this weekend to keep them informed on the situation.
However, many parishioners CBS 8 spoke to at mass Sunday said they never received the letter in the mail.
“I did not receive the letter,” said Susan, a parishioner at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Bonita. “I’m sad! I’m so, you know, shocked to hear about this. I never even thought about it.”
The idea of potentially filing for bankruptcy comes after Assembly Bill 218 lifted the statute of limitations.
It opened a three-year “lookback window” that allowed Californians to file a sexual abuse claim against schools, sports groups, and religious institutions or churches regardless of the limitations.
The church is facing 400 sex abuse claims dating back to the 1940s.
“I think the church should talk more about it and make the parishioners more aware of what is going on, said Victoria-Rosa Guiterrez, a parishioner at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Bonita.
The Catholic Diocese of San Diego says they would have to pay $550 million if they settled all 400 claims they’ve received in the last three years.
Kevin Eckery with the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego told CBS 8 they don’t have that type of money.
However, SNAP, the survivor’s network that provides support for victims, said in a statement, “it defies common sense that the San Diego bishop is broke.”
“These people should be prosecuted and pay what they owe. Filing bankruptcy is a criminal act, and it’s like admitting guilt to me,” said parishioner Chris McGowan.
In 2007, the Diocese says it paid out $198 million to settle 144 sex abuse claims, depleting assets….
Full story at CBS channel 8.