Bishops Bankruptcies Vatican Approval
Title: Vatican Official Reminds Bishops: Diocesan Bankruptcies Could Require Vatican Approval
Author: JD Flynn and Ed Condon
Publisher: National Catholic Register
Several dioceses in the United States have declared bankruptcy in the last year, several doing so after states passed laws opening a window in the statue of limitations for historical instances of sexual abuse.
WASHINGTON — The Vatican has written to the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, to remind dioceses that filing for bankruptcy could require the consent of the Holy See.
A letter, issued June 15 by Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, to Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles notes that “In recent months, the Congregation has received news of the declaration of bankruptcy by several diocesan bishops of the United States” acting on behalf of their dioceses.
Declarations of bankruptcy, the letter said, require Vatican permission, “whenever it is foreseen that the legal proceedings could involve the alienation of temporal goods whose value exceeds” a threshold set by the U.S. bishops’ conference in 2011.
That threshold value is $7.5 million for dioceses with more than 500,000 Catholics, and $3.5 million for dioceses smaller than that.
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