Tag: Diocese bankruptcy

Diocese of Camden sexual abuse lawsuit

Is the Camden Diocese Worse Than Others When it Comes to Clergy Sex Crimes?

Is it just our impression or does the Camden Catholic diocese have a greater problem with clergy sex crimes and cover ups than most dioceses?

That’s of course hard to determine and fundamentally unfair.

The phrase “more than most” is vague, especially given that there are about 180 Catholic dioceses across the United States.

A better metric to consider is this: How does the rate of clergy sex abuse in the Diocese of Camden compare to dioceses of about the same size?

And using this scale, indeed, our hunch that there are more child molesting clerics in Camden than other places seems to be right.

According to BishopAccountability.org and Catholic-Hierarchy.org, the Camden diocese has a Catholic population of 458,000.

So Camden is just a little BIGGER than the San Francisco archdiocese (425,000 Catholics), the Paterson NJ diocese (420,000 Catholics), the Rockford IL diocese (420,000 Catholics) and

Camden has 68 publicly accused predators.

But San Francisco has only 37 publicly accused predators.

Paterson has only 41 publicly accused predators.

Camden’s a little SMALLER than the Las Vegas diocese (544,519 Catholics), the Oakland diocese (520,301 Catholics, the Sacramento diocese (520,301), and the Cincinnati archdiocese (512,146).

But Las Vegas has only eight alleged predators.

Oakland has 44 alleged predators.

Sacramento has only 49 alleged predators.

Cincinnati has only 50 alleged predators.

http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/country/scus1.html

So based solely on the statistics, Catholics and citizens in the Camden area have, sadly, experienced more clergy sex crimes than in dioceses of roughly the same size.

What makes this especially sad, however, is that it shouldn’t be like this.

Way back in 1993, Camden Catholic officials got one of the earliest and most dramatic ‘wake up’ calls about this crisis.

That year, a man named Gary Hayes filed a groundbreaking lawsuit charging that he was sexually violated as a child by two clerics: Fr. Joseph F. McGarvey of Camden and Fr. William C. O’Connell of Rhode Island.

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/news5/2019_04_04_Rev_Gary_Hayes_RIP.htm

The case groundbreaking in two ways.

First, Hayes was from the Camden diocese and was abused in the Camden diocese. When he sued, he was also a Catholic priest.

Hayes thus became the first US Catholic cleric to essentially sue his boss for ignoring and concealing abuse.

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/news3/1993_06_10_Walsh_ThreeCharge_Joseph_McGarvey_3.htm

Second, Hayes’ lawsuit was the first in the US to cite RICO statutes. This is a law designed to help pursue justice against organized crime figures.

In a moving news conference, Hayes opened his remarks with this chilling phrase: “Today, I’m seeking justice in the courts because I can find no justice in my church.”

As one would expect, the case attracted considerable nation-wide coverage. And it should have given Camden’s church hierarchy ample opportunity and incentive to really work hard to stop child sex crimes and cover ups.

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/2019/04/in-memory-of-a-giant-david-clohessys-eulogy-for-gary-hayes/

But we at Horowitz Law see no evidence that this was done. And the numbers seem to bear out our view.

So what can be done about this?

Well, for starters, we’re urging anyone in Camden who saw, suspected or suffered abuse to come forward and get help. This is especially important since there’s a June 30, 2021 deadline to seek help under the diocese’s bankruptcy plan.

After that deadline, it’s still possible for victims to win justice and expose predators. But it’s considerably tougher.

And if you know of others who grew up Catholic in the Camden area, ask them if they were sexually violated in any way by any Camden church employee. Then please spread the word about this deadline and ask them to do likewise.

We want every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Camden to at least consider taking advantage of this opportunity.

(McGarvey worked in these New Jersey towns: Camden, East Camden, Pennsauken, Gloucester, Woodstown, Elmer and Millville. In 1994, he pled guilty to sexual assault and making child porn. One lawsuit involving McGarvey was settled for $384,000 and another in the high five figures.)

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/diocesan_lists/Camden/2019_02_21_Download_of_Camden_Credibly_Accused.pdf#page=25

(O’Connell worked in these Rhode Island towns: Wakefield, Matanuck, Riverside, Warwick, Providence, Central Falls, North Tiverton, Bristol and Hog Island. He was also a Navy chaplain.

In 1986, O’Connell pleaded no contest to sex assaults on about a dozen boys and was sentenced to five years in prison.

http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/O’Connell_William_C.htm

Contact us today Regarding Your Claim Against the Camden Diocese.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Camden in New Jersey.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. In October 2020, the Camden Diocese filed for federal bankruptcy protection.  The Court will resolve all claims of sexual abuse in this process but a strict filing deadline of June 30 will apply and no late claims will be considered, so contact us today.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

 

Diocese of Rockville Centre Horowitz Law

Sex Abuse Claims Filing Deadline Set in Rockville Centre Diocese Bankruptcy

On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court set the deadline for filing all sexual abuse claims against Rockville Center’s Diocese for August 14, 2021. The Diocese filed for Chapter 11 protection earlier this year to resolve all pending sex abuse claims against the Diocese with the bankruptcy court’s assistance. This bankruptcy impacts the rights of Sexual Abuse Survivors against the Diocese in the case, In re: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York.

Contrary to what you might think, a bankruptcy filing does not mean the Diocese is broke: it implies the Diocese is asking for the Bankruptcy Court for help resolving the rest of the sexual abuse claims against it. Its assets will be allocated among all of its creditors, including an unknown number of sexual abuse claimants, known and unknown. It is also a means by which a Catholic Diocese can continue to protect itself and its secrets. For that reason, it is often criticized by survivor advocates and attorneys. The Diocese of Rockville Centre will not likely have to publicize any priest personnel files as part of this process, for example.

The August 14 filing deadline is also referred to as a “bar date” in bankruptcy law. It is a strict, non-negotiable deadline by which all existing claims must be filed against the Diocese of Rockville Centre, or claimants will be forever barred from seeking relief in the future. Regardless of how old the sexual abuse survivor is today or when the abuse occurred, they need to file their claim to receive it by 5 pm on that day. If the victims do not file a timely Sexual Abuse Claim, they may lose rights against the Diocese and Diocese related entities, including any right to compensation. Anyone who was sexually abused on or before October 1, 2020, and believes the Diocese may be responsible for the sexual abuse must file a claim.

For survivors of sexual abuse by anyone employed by the Diocese of Rockville Centre such as a priest, teacher, sacristan, or lay volunteer, this likely means that even if New York lawmakers extend the statute of limitations and otherwise allow you to file a lawsuit, your claim will barred by the bankruptcy bar date. That makes it critically important for anyone who a Rockville Centre Diocese employee victimized to contact competent counsel as soon as possible to discuss your options: the fact is that you probably won’t have any options after August 14, 2021.

The August 14 deadline is a strict filing deadline set by the Court and will not likely be extended by the Court for any reason. Therefore, you should contact us immediately for a free and confidential consultation about your legal options as a survivor of abuse in the Rockville Centre Diocese.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Rockville Centre and throughout New York.  The Diocese of Rockville Centre filed for federal bankruptcy protection in October 2020.  Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Rockville Centre may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines have been set by the Bankruptcy Court.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Rockville Centre will never be able to take against against the Diocese of Rockville Centre if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your legal options today.

Syracuse Diocese sex abuse

We Find the Diocese of Syracuse’s ‘Reasons’ For its Bankruptcy Hard to Believe

Always wanted to read Alice in Wonderland but never gotten around to it? Here’s another idea.

Try reading why the Syracuse Catholic diocese claims it is ‘bankrupt.’

Sound weird? Well, believe us, some of its claims are fascinating/

Sound daunting? Well, some of the MOST fascinating parts are just a few paragraphs long.

And if it didn’t deal with the awful and largely preventable crisis of kids being assaulted by clergy, it could even be considered somewhat laughable.

Earlier this month, Syracuse Bishop Doug Lucia basically stonewalled dozens of clergy sex abuse victims who need and deserve healing and justice by stopping their lawsuits, exploiting Chapter 11 protection and going into bankruptcy court.

https://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/local/2020/06/19/catholic-church-sex-abuse-syracuse-diocese-files-bankruptcy/3221915001/

In our view, it’s a selfish decision. It’s designed to primarily protect NOT the child molesting clerics, but the clerics who saw, suspected, knew about and ignored or concealed literally thousands of crimes against kids.

It achieves this goal by preventing lawsuits, discovery, depositions and other disclosures that would show how much Syracuse Catholic officials knew about abuse, how little they did to stop it and how much they did to hide it.

But never mind our view. Listen to them. Check out these ‘reasons’ Syracuse church officials give, for claiming bankruptcy. (These quotes come from the formal “The Declaration of Rev. Msgr. Timothy Elmer,” a high-ranking diocesan staffer.)

The diocese is bankrupt, it says, because it has “limited resources.”

Sounds reasonable, until you factor in all the insurance coverage the diocese has paid perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars for over decades. And all the physical property it owns. And all the weekly donations it brings in. And the wealth of other Catholic dioceses and institutions, even the Vatican, that could be shared to help victims of abuse.

(By the way, do you know anyone or anything that doesn’t have ‘limited resources?’)

The diocese is in bankruptcy court, it says, “in order to provide the greatest recovery for the greatest number of victims.”

Really? Seriously? Does anyone believe that Bishop Lucia gets up each morning and says “My number one goal is to get and then give out the most amount of money to the most victims of pedophile priests? And if that’s really the goal, could someone please explain when and how this dramatic reversal happened? Because for decades, Catholic officials in Syracuse behaved just like their colleagues elsewhere: denying wrongdoing, exploiting technicalities, hiring spin doctors, stone-walling lawsuits, attacking victims and on and on and on. . .

The diocese is bankrupt, it also says, because it “cannot allow any single (victim) to recover a disproportionate share of the limited funds simply because the plaintiff’s case goes to trial first.”

Sounds reasonable, until you remember who started this whole mess. It wasn’t victims. It was church officials. And now church officials insist that THEY get to dole our dollars, not the time-tested US court system and unbiased US jurors.

The diocese is bankrupt, it also says, because it “cannot ignore the valid claims of other creditors who stand on equal footing with (child sex abuse victims). . .”

Really? Bishop Lucia is claiming he’s got the same obligation to the local hardware store owner (who is owed maybe $500 for light bulbs the diocese bought) that he’s got to a woman who may have been raped dozens of times by a prominent priest?”

The diocese claims other reasons it is supposedly bankrupt, but the bulk of Elmer’s declaration is all about how sorry it is, how it made mistakes in the past, how it doesn’t want to “deny any person a day in court” (though that’s precisely what it’s doing).

But if all of Catholic officials say here is true, how can they explain the final paragraph of Elmer’s declaration? In it, he argues that “a swift exit from bankruptcy is of the utmost importance.”  Guess why.

Because victims are hurting, maybe even suicidal? Nope.

Because some of the pedophiles might still be on the church payroll? Nope.

Because some of the predators might be raping kids even now,  because they’re still living and working among unsuspecting neighbors, friends, colleagues and families? Nope.

Because Catholics are leaving the church and the political influence of its officials is waning? Nope.

Rather, the “swift exit” from bankruptcy is of “utmost importance,” Elmer says, for church finances.

He’s not that honest, of course. He’s more savvy in his wording. Elmer wants out of bankruptcy quickly, he says, because the diocese is “dependent upon the charity of its faithful” and bankruptcy “may cast a shadow upon the diocese.”

In other words, “the sooner we can pretend all this abuse and cover up are over, the sooner the big bucks will start rolling back to us.”

Ah yes! We forgot for a minute. The financial good of the institution ALWAYS comes first.

We should be grateful, we suppose, that a few kernels of truth managed to find their way into an otherwise beyond-the-pale legal document that makes Alice in Wonderland seem almost boring.