The Archdiocese of New Orleans has recently filed a petition for reorganization, also known as bankruptcy. And that filing by the Archdiocese, at this time, is very sinister and very suspicious. It is sinister and suspicious because right now there is no immediate pressure on them that would explain such a filing other than to take a preemptive strike: to make a conscious decision to hide their ability to pay; that is the assets, and even more importantly, to hide and conceal the secrets of the predators, the offenders, and all the top officials in the Archdiocese of New Orleans that have been complicit in it. In other words, it appears to us that the conscious choice by the Archbishop and the Archdiocese of New Orleans is to hide, to conceal, to hide assets, and to avoid accountability.
Our experience speaks loudly to the possible motivation of the Archbishop and the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Our experience in having worked with survivors across the country, from the west coast to the east coast, the north to the south – informs that in over twenty-five different reorganizations by Catholic entities such as that in New Orleans have used the bankruptcy code, reorganization, to try to keep the survivors, and the lawyers working with the survivors, from excavating the past. They’ve also used reorganization to try to keep the survivors’ recoveries from being full and fair value. And to that end, Catholic Dioceses across the country have demonstrated a practice where they have moved assets and hidden their true ability to pay in a way that when they file for reorganization they don’t have to pay full or fair value to the survivors who have been suffering for so long.
Now the good news: the good news is that every survivor who has been violated can now bring a claim. In this process [survivors] can preserve their privacy and also make sure that together we can make sure you are a part of making them accountable. We have a history, even in reorganization, of being able to excavate and reveal all these past secrets and crimes so that the survivors that make the claims in reorganization can be heard.