The First New Jersey Diocese to File for Bankruptcy Protection, Church Leadership Prioritizes Self-Preservation Over Accountability
(Camden, NJ) – The Diocese of Camden’s decision to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a disappointing, yet unsurprising, attempt to conceal the truth about predator priests in the Diocese at the expense of sexual abuse survivors.
“The Diocese is running from accountability,” said attorney Greg Gianforcaro. “Instead of standing up for the people entrusted to their care and acknowledging the harm done to children for which they are responsible, the Diocese is taking drastic, self-serving measures to ensure the truth is suppressed.”
Gianforcaro partnered with the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates in 2019 to represent survivors of child sexual abuse in New Jersey. To-date the firms have more than a dozen cases against the Diocese of Camden that have been brought under the New Jersey Child Sexual Abuse Act / New Jersey Victims’ Rights Bill (S.477). “Church leadership is trying every trick in the book to avoid consequences for their reckless endangerment of children, and that shows they know just how serious these allegations are,” he said.
The Diocese is following the cynical and damaging playbook of its fellow Dioceses of the New York/New Jersey area, namely the Diocese of Rochester (09.12.19), Diocese of Buffalo (02.28.20), the Diocese of Syracuse (06.19.20), and most recently, the Diocese of Rockville Centre (10.01.20). More than two dozen Catholic Dioceses and Archdioceses across the country have previously filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy to avoid facing the civil justice system, which forces transparency and accountability.
Following the suspension of the Diocese’s Independent Victim Compensation Program (IVCP) on July 31, 2020, which previously promised survivors an opportunity for speedy and transparent resolutions of their claims, attorneys from Jeff Anderson & Associates and Gianforcaro Law filed four sexual abuse lawsuits against the Diocese on behalf of four courageous survivors on August 20, 2020.
“The Diocese first betrayed survivors when Church leadership protected their priests over the children these priests harmed,” said attorney Rita Gribko of Jeff Anderson & Associates. “They betrayed survivors again when the Diocese first offered, then canceled, their compensation program. Now, this bald-faced, self-interested legal tactic is yet another betrayal.”
“Survivors are stronger than the Diocese of Camden’s cowardice,” said attorney Jeff Anderson. “The New Jersey Child Sexual Abuse Act has given survivors a powerful platform to expose their abusers and those who covered for them, and a safe harbor to protect their own identity in doing so. This is not the end of the road. We continue to stand hand-in-hand with survivors in their quest for truth and accountability.”
MEDIA NOTE: A video statement from Jeff Anderson has been filmed at 1080p and is available for use by broadcast and digital media. It can be downloaded here.
Jeff Anderson – 646.499.3364 (c); 646.759.2551 (o)
Greg Gianforcaro – 908.310.4624 (c); 908.859.2200 (o)
Rita Gribko – 908.878.6070 (c); 609.901.5010 (o)