Catholic Institutions in New York Continue to Choose Self-Preservation Over Accountability for Decades of Rampant Child Sexual Abuse
(Ogdensburg, New York) – The Diocese of Ogdensburg’s decision to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is an unfortunate yet predictable attempt to conceal the truth about the diocese’s self-serving practices at the expense of child sexual abuse survivors.
“The Diocese of Ogdensburg’s resolution to declare bankruptcy shows, once again, a continuity in their intentions—which are, solely and purely, in service to their own self-interest,” said attorney Cynthia LaFave. “In declaring bankruptcy, the Diocese knowingly obstructs survivors’ long-awaited opportunity to say their piece; to be heard, to be acknowledged. Make no mistake, silencing survivors is exactly what the Diocese has always done. This decision is another in a long line of decisions aimed at preserving the Diocese’s frail veneer by undermining the humanity and dignity of survivors.”
Now, over half of New York’s eight Catholic dioceses have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy – Diocese of Buffalo (02.28.20), Diocese of Rochester (09.12.19), Diocese of Rockville Centre (10.1.2020), Diocese of Syracuse (06.19.20), and the Diocese of Albany (3.15.2023) In response to thousands of lawsuits filed under the New York Child Victims Act, Catholic institutions are retreating to bankruptcy in an effort to end-run the civil justice system and avoid accountability for the horrors committed by priests and other agents.
“The Diocese of Ogdensburg is running from accountability,” said attorney Jeff Anderson. “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 in an attempt to suppress the truth.”
“The survivors’ courage and strength will not be extinguished by today’s bankruptcy filing,” added attorney Taylor Stippel. “North Country survivors are resilient. The true nature of the Diocese’s dangerous patterns and practices will be revealed.”
Attorneys from the offices of LaFave, Wein & Frament, PLLC and Jeff Anderson & Associates represent over 50 survivors who courageously filed lawsuits under New York’s Child Victims Act against the Diocese of Ogdensburg.