San Francisco’s Catholic Archdiocese will “likely” be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid hundreds of lawsuits filed against the church in recent years, according to a statement by the church’s archbishop.

The decision to file for Chapter 11, according to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, would allow the archdiocese to continue to operate while reorganizing its finances and handling the cases all together rather than individually.

“For several months now, with the assistance of our financial and legal advisors, we have been investigating the best options for managing and resolving these cases,” Cordileone said. “After much contemplation and prayer, I wish to inform you that a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization is very likely.”

During his tenure as archbishop of San Francisco, Cordileone has grappled with decades-long sexual-abuse scandals that have seized the church while overseeing an $87 million settlement.

The filing comes almost three months after the Catholic Diocese of Oakland announced it had also filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy in light of 330 lawsuits.

Cordileone pointed to 500 civil cases that were filed against the Archdiocese after California removed the statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims for non-profits in 2019.

“… The vast majority of the alleged abuse occurred in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s and involved priests who are deceased or no longer in ministry,” he said. “In addition to deceased individuals who can no longer defend themselves, a significant number of these claims include unnamed individuals or named individuals who are unknown to the Archdiocese….”

From the San Francisco Standard