California Bishops Attempt to Conceal Truth from Victims of Clergy Abuse
(Oakland, CA) – Today, the Diocese of Oakland filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. This predictable and unfortunate decision by the Bishop to conceal assets and hide the truth from the public, and survivors who were sexually abused by clergy members assigned within the Diocese of Oakland.
“The Diocese of Oakland’s decision to declare bankruptcy is a calculated decision in hopes to silence and suppress survivors of abuse,” said attorney Jeff Anderson. “Little does the Diocese of Oakland know the strength and resilience of the survivors who have come forward – we will continue to stand by them and vigorously advocate for them in the bankruptcy process.”
Following the closing of the historic California Child Victims Act, the Diocese of Oakland has been identified as a defendant in hundreds of lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse. The firm currently represents more than 75 clients.
In a letter to parishioners of the Diocese of Oakland, Bishop Michael C. Barber stated, “We made the filing because we believe this process is the best way to support a compassionate and equitable outcome for survivors of abuse, while ensuring we continue to provide the essential services and support so crucial to our parishioners and communities.” Referencing Jeff Anderson and Associates’ decades of history representing survivors of abuse, and navigating several Chapter 11 Bankruptcies, the firm believes the bishop’s statement is not in the interest of survivors.
“If Bishop Barber were acting in the best interest of the survivors who filed lawsuits under the Child Victims Act, he would not have filed for reorganization. Bishop Barber is attempting to keep information from the survivors, the public, and the courts for the dioceses and his own self-interest. Same old story, hide the offenders, the assets, and the truth about what they knew,” said Jeff Anderson.
The Diocese of Oakland is the second diocese to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in California following the close of the Child Victims Act on December 31, 2022. The Diocese of Santa Rosa filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on March 13, 2023. It is believed that other Catholic institutions will soon follow Santa Rosa’s and the Diocese of Oakland’s damaging plan.