The following comes from a Dec. 3 story in the Stockton Record.

Out of options, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton is expected to file for bankruptcy early next year.

Bishop Stephen Blaire has issued a letter notifying the six-county diocese’s 250,000 members that a final decision is likely “after the first of the year.”

Blaire said that after months of research, “no viable option has emerged other than reorganizing financially under the protection of bankruptcy court.”

The letter was distributed Sunday to the diocese’s 35 parishes and 14 missions.

Blaire also encouraged various auxiliary Catholic organizations to obtain legal advice to be ready for possible asset claims that could be made by creditors. He said they “need to be prepared in case they are challenged, as has happened in other dioceses.”

Chapter 11 protection is needed because of the financial drain from continuing settlements stemming from sex-abuse lawsuits. Through 2010, the Stockton diocese had settled 22 such cases at a cost of $18.7 million.

Blaire said in September the diocese no longer had the resources to meet the obligations of current or pending lawsuits.

Talk of bankruptcy first emerged in June….

To read the entire story, click here.