Statement of Attorney Jeff Anderson on Bishop’s Self-Serving Scheme to Limit Rights Provided Under Child Sexual Abuse Act
Virtual Press Conference Today: 11 AM CT / 12 PM ET
(Camden, NJ) – Today, over a live moderated virtual press conference, attorney Jeff Anderson will:
- Put a spotlight on the dangerous, deceptive Plan of Reorganization filed by Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan on December 31, 2020, which was devised without any input from or consideration for clergy abuse survivors within the Diocese
- Reveal and discuss how this plan intentionally limits survivors’ ability to bring civil claims against the Diocese, even under rights provided by the New Jersey Child Sexual Abuse Act
- Reveal and discuss the use of this plan as a shield against the excavation of the identities of predators, the exposure of perilous secret-keeping decisions and practices by Diocesan officials, and the true nature of the Diocese’s finances
- Reveal and discuss the $10M trust proposed to limit survivor compensation over the next 10 years, despite a recent forgiveness of $25M in parish debts
A moderated Q&A will immediately follow.
WHEN: Monday, January 4, 2021 – 11:00 AM CST / 12:00 PM ET
MEDIA NOTE: The press conference will be filmed at 1080p resolution with a broadcast camera and uploaded in real time to Vimeo. Video files will be uploaded to Vimeo and available for download here following the conclusion of the event for use by broadcast and digital media (processing of the full resolution video file may take up to an hour). A Dropbox link for access to the video files is also available upon request. Submit requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statement of Attorney Jeff Anderson Regarding Bishop Sullivan’s Plan of Reorganization
I’m spotlighting the Diocese of Camden and Bishop Sullivan today because on New Year’s Eve they filed a Plan of Reorganization in which they have devised a scheme. A scheme that is dangerous. A scheme that is deceptive. A scheme that is dastardly.
The scheme cuts off the rights of every survivor of sexual abuse by clergy in the Diocese of Camden, past and future; rights given them to bring a legal action against the Diocese and its parishes by the New Jersey legislature up until November 30 of this year.
It robs the survivors of any chance for justice, even though the legislature and the Governor signed into law the first opportunity for survivors to get justice in the State of New Jersey.
It robs survivors of their ability to individually sue and uncover any perpetrators of child sexual abuse that have been concealed. It robs survivors of any opportunity to expose the dangerous practices employed by this Bishop and top Diocesan officials. It robs the survivors of any chance to unearth the documents, files and secrets that would be excavated in civil actions that are currently allowed under the New Jersey Child Sexual Abuse Act.
It robs the survivors of any chance at justice.
This scheme also claims to somehow compensate survivors by putting into a trust $10M, to be distributed at a rate of $1m a year for the next 10 years. And in that trust, the Bishop has determined that all claims past, present, and future will be paid out of it by someone determined by the Bishop. Not a judge, not a jury, the Bishop. Under this scheme, the Diocese, its parishes, and all the entities controlled by the Diocese, are not required to pay anything more than the $10M held in the trust—no matter what. The documents already filed under the Diocese’s Chapter 11 Reorganization show that the Bishop has already forgiven debts owed to the Diocese of $25M by its parishes.
This plan has no relationship to their true ability to pay. All the legal responsibilities of the parishes and all the responsibility of Diocese officials to all the survivors are extinguished, are cut-off. This plan, this scheme, thus allows no scrutiny; thus allows no opportunity for any survivors, individually and collectively, to unearth, to uncover, and ultimately reveal dangers that have existed in the Diocese of Camden, past and present.
This is a gross and dangerous injustice that needs to be called out now for what it is: a dastardly, deceptive, and dangerous scheme.