NJ Catholic Dioceses Bankruptcies
Faced with a flood of priest abuse victims applying to the New Jersey Independent Victims Compensation Program, the Catholic diocese had to borrow $8 million to pay out-of-court settlements.
Then, the diocese was slammed with another 55 lawsuits from other alleged abuse victims in state court after New Jersey changed its state law Dec. 1 to allow victims to sue the Catholic Church.
But the final blow came when the coronavirus pandemic hit last March and the Diocese of Camden’s 62 parishes were forced to shut their doors for months. Without regular Masses for the diocese’s 486,000 Catholics in South Jersey, weekly collections nearly disappeared and other donations dwindled even as churches slowly reopened.
On Oct. 1, the Diocese of Camden announced the inevitable: It had filed for bankruptcy.
“I take some comfort that we are not alone in making this decision, as we have seen that well-known public entities and other Catholic dioceses across the country have been forced recently to do likewise,” Camden Bishop Dennis Sullivan said in a letter to parishioners.