Statement of Jeff Anderson – Diocese of Sacramento Announces Intention to File for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

“The Diocese might change, but their motivations for filing bankruptcy remain the same – the desire to protect their reputation and their assets, no matter the moral expense.” – Jeff Anderson

(Sacramento, CA) – Today, the Diocese of Sacramento announced its intention to file for bankruptcy protection, joining dozens of other dioceses impacted by sexual abuse lawsuits.

On behalf of the many survivors who were gravely hurt, we react with deep disappointment in the choice made by the Bishop of Sacramento to seek bankruptcy protection from accountability. We know from all the work we have done with survivors across the country that bishops and dioceses have continuously utilized Chapter 11 to shamefully protect themselves. We have seen them time and time again use bankruptcy as both a sword and shield. A sword to hurt victims further by causing delay and deceptively denying survivors their day in court. They have used bankruptcy as a shield to prevent full disclosure in order to protect themselves and even worse – protect sexual offenders.

History informs us and we knew it was possible the Diocese of Sacramento would follow the same playbook many other dioceses have used. We stand with the survivors and are ready to work with and for them. We will do everything in our power to make this work in a way that can bring a true measure of accountability and true transparency. This is also an opportunity for us to hold the Bishop of Sacramento accountable. We pledge to do everything we can to bring to fruition what many survivors have wanted for decades – justice, ramifications, and for their voices to be heard.

“This decision is rooted in cowardice, desperation, and fear – fear of being caught for what the Diocese has been running from for decades.” – Jeff Anderson

Background Information

The Diocese of Sacramento is the fourth 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 (3.13.2023), the Archdiocese of San Francisco (8.21.23), and the Diocese of Oakland (5.8.2023).