Tag: Syracuse Bankruptcy

Syracuse Bishop Doug Lucia sexual abuse

Syracuse Bishop Doug Lucia, Like Other NY Bishops, Still Hides Predators

Next month marks the one-year anniversary of Syracuse Bishop Doug Lucia filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on behalf of the Diocese of Syracuse..

Days before the move,  at least 38 people filed new sex abuse and cover up lawsuits under the New York Child Victims Act.  Now, roughly a year later, some 400 individuals in the Syracuse area have sought justice by filing claims in the bankruptcy court. We commend them for their courage.

https://www.localsyr.com/news/local-news/almost-400-survivors-of-sexual-abuse-file-claims-in-diocese-of-syracuse-case/

Any way you look at it, that’s a staggering number of child sexual abuse victims. But it’s especially staggering when you consider how little the diocese has disclosed about abuse.

Syracuse Bishop Doug Lucia issued a “credibly accused” list that has many of the same omissions and deceptions found in other bishops’ lists, including

–No work histories of the predators.

–No photos of the predators.

–No nuns, brothers, bishops, seminarians, monks, or deacons or lay employees (like teachers or counselors) are identified as molesters.

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/diocesan_lists/Syracuse/2018_12_03_Syracuse_List.pdf

One can only imagine how many more victims might have come forward over the last 12 months if Lucia and his colleagues actually practiced the ‘transparency’ that they so often claim they show.

On his site, Syracuse Bishop Doug Lucia also uses perhaps the most insulting word to describe abuse reports: ‘claims.’

Not cases. Not reports. Not disclosures. But ‘claims.’

(We’re attorneys. We realize that in bankruptcy, ‘claims’ is the legally appropriate term to use. That doesn’t mean, however, that Lucia has to use it on his website. He could just as easily say ‘abuse reports’ or ‘abuse disclosures.’)

And of course, with minimal effort, we at Horowitz Law have found several ‘credibly accused’ abusive clerics who spent time in the Syracuse diocese but are NOT on Lucia’s list. Three of them belonged to just one religious order, the Jesuits:

–Fr. Peter Conroy, who led retreats in Syracuse

–Fr. Roy Drake, who was at LeMoyne College in Syracuse

–Fr. Raymond Fullam, also led retreats in Syracuse

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/order_lists/Jesuits_Northeast/2019_01_15_Jesuits_Northeast_Credible_Allegations.pdf#page=7

Also omitted:

–Fr. Henry Clark, who is on the Albuquerque diocese ‘credibly accused’ list and worked in both Syracuse and Utica.

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/diocesan_lists/Santa_Fe/2019_03_08_Santa_Fe_List_with_Assignments_190308List_updated190308AssignmentsOFFICIAL.pdf#page=3

–Fr. John Lugowski, who spent time behind bars for sodomizing a ten year old New York boy and admitted to sexual contact with five boys.

https://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2007/05_06/2007_05_05_Moyer_SexAbuse.htm

Like most Catholic bishops who exploit Chapter 11 to keep church cover ups covered up, Lucia claims he’s not trying to hide anything.

But if that’s the case, why is he hiding names and information about proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics?

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Syracuse in New York. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help.

Syracuse Diocese Bankruptcy Filing Deadline Set for April 15

During a hearing held on Thursday, Oct. 15, in the Diocese of Syracuse’s bankruptcy case, Chief Judge Margaret Cangilos-Ruiz of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Northern District of New York ruled that sexual abuse survivors have until April 15, 2021, to file their sexual abuse claims against the Diocese of Syracuse.

Contrary to what some might think, a bankruptcy filing does not mean the Syracuse Diocese is broke: it means the Diocese is asking for the Bankruptcy Court for help resolve the rest of the sexual abuse claims against it so it may continue to operate.  Its assets will be allocated among all of its creditors, including an unknown number of sexual abuse claimants, known and unknown.

Bankruptcy is also a means by which a Catholic Diocese can continue to protect itself and its secrets, and, for that reason it is often criticized by survivor advocates and attorneys.  The Diocese of Syracuse might have to publicize any priest personnel files as part of this process,

The April 15 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 Syracuse or claimants will be forever barred from seeking relief in the future.

For survivors of sexual abuse by anyone employed by the Diocese of Syracuse such as a priest, teacher, sacristan, deacon, or lay volunteer, this likely means that even though New York lawmakers extended the statute of limitations window to August 12, 2021, your claim will be forever barred on April 15, 2021.  That makes it critically important for anyone who was victimized by a Syracuse Diocese employee to contact competent counsel as soon as possible to discuss your options: the fact is that you probably won’t have any options after April 15.

While the exact class of persons who can file a claim in the bankruptcy is not yet defined, it is expected that those sexually assaulted by Diocese employees as an adult, as well as the estates of deceased victims, will be able to file claims.

The April 15 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 Syracuse Diocese.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Syracuse and throughout New York State.  The Diocese of Syracuse filed for federal bankruptcy protection in June 2020.  Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Syracuse 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 Syracuse will never be able to take against against the Diocese of Syracuse 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.

Fr. James C. Hayes – Syracuse Diocese

Father James C. Hayes

Diocese of Syracuse

Ordained: 1965

Removed: 2002 

Assigned as follows:

  • 1966 – 1967       St. Mary (Binghamton, NY) 
  • 1968 – 1969       Faculty House (Binghamton, NY)
  • 1970 – 1972       Unknown
  • 1973                  St. Louis (Oswego, NY)
  • 1974                  St. John the Evangelist (Oswego, NY)
  • 1974 – 1976       Oswego Catholic High School (Oswego, NY)
  • 1977                  Oswego City School District (Oswego , NY)
  • 1977 – 1978       Bishop Cunningham Catholic High School (Oswego, NY)
  • 1978 – 1984       St. Anne and St. John (North Bay, NY)
  • 1979 – 1981       Ecclesiastical Attorneys
  • 1984                  Diocesan Pastoral Council – Northern Region
  • 1984                  Priests’ Senate
  • 1985 – 1988       St. John the Baptist (Syracuse, NY)
  • 1989                  Diocesan Cabinet – Northern Region
  • 1989 – 1990       Board of Diocesan Consultors
  • 1989 – 1991       Holy Family (Fulton, NY)
  • 1992 – 2002       Community General Hospital (Syracuse, NY) 
  • 1993 – 2003       St. Michael (Onondaga Hill, NY) 
  • 1997 – 2003       Special assignment
  • 1998 – 2002       Our Lady of Good Counsel (Warners, NY)
  • 2003 – 2018       Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father James C. Hayes:

According to media reports, in June 2002, Father James C. Hayes was removed from his parish assignment as Community General Hospital Chaplain after allegations resurfaced about “inappropriate behavior” years previously, and after three victims filed lawsuits. He had been serving as a hospital chaplain since 1991.

One incident was first reported in 1990 and Father Hayes was sent to St. Luke’s for treatment. The Diocese of Syracuse confirmed that Father Hayes remained active after a person came forward about the abuse.

In 2003, the Diocese stated that Father Hayes had been permanently removed from ministry due to credible allegations of child sexual abuse.

Father Hays’ name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Syracuse’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors, published in December 2018.  It released almost no information on the allegations against each priest, including age/gender of the victims, or the priest’s assignment at the time of the alleged abuse.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Syracuse in New York.  The Diocese of Syracuse filed for federal bankruptcy protection in June 2020.  Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Syracuse may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Syracuse will never be able to take any legal action if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help. 

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

Syracuse Diocese sex abuse

Diocese of Syracuse files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Earlier today, the Diocese of Syracuse in New York filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Citing the increasing cost of clergy sex abuse lawsuits and the budget challenges of the coronavirus shutdown of church services, the Diocese of Syracuse joined an increasing number of dioceses seeking financial protection under Chapter 11, including the neighboring dioceses in Rochester and Buffalo.

Bishop Douglas Lucia said bankruptcy would give the church a chance to reorganize and continue operating while addressing the number of sexual abuse claims made against its priests. He admitted the church cannot afford the high cost of litigation of the increasing number of clergy sex abuse claims.

It is a common misconception that a Chapter 11 filing means an entity, like the Diocese of Syracuse, has run out of money, leaving sexual abuse claimants without any recourse.  But that is not true.  The claim is simply decided in an alternative process run by the federal bankruptcy court, rather than by a jury trial in state court.  The amounts paid to survivors in a bankruptcy filing are often much less than in a traditional court case, however.

However, the Syracuse Diocese bankruptcy filing is not without its critic, and rightfully so.  Horowitz Law represents survivors of sexual abuse by clergy of the Diocese of Syracuse.  Attorney Adam Horowitz said, “Bankruptcy is the latest ploy by the Catholic Church to reduce its legal exposure for covering up clergy sexual abuse nationwide.  In a bankruptcy proceeding the Church can also conceal evidence of its neglect in the handling of sexually abusive priests.”

Another advantage to the Diocese is the right to be free of additional sexual abuse litigation indefinitely once the case closes.  Once a claims filing deadline has been set by the court, that will be the very last chance most survivors of clergy sexual abuse and exploitation will ever have to get some measure of accountability for what happened to them.  After that date passes, the Diocese will not be subject to liability for any additional claims that arose before the bankruptcy filing, even if other laws would otherwise a lawsuit to be filed, like a change in the statute of limitations.  So it is critically important that you not delay in contacting us today.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims on behalf of children who were sexually abused by clergy of all religious denominations, including Chapter 11 bankruptcy claims.  If you or someone you know was sexually abused by a clergy member or employee of the Diocese of Syracuse, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.