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Bishop Robert McElroy during a Feb. 1, 2021, Georgetown University online public dialogue.Global Georgetown / Youtube screen grab

SAN DIEGO (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Robert McElroy announced that the Diocese of San Diego may file for bankruptcy in the near future to meet the financial burden of over 400 lawsuits for clerical sexual abuse of minors dating to the 1970s.

According to the diocese’s website, the announcement came last Thursday “in a meeting with pastors and lay parish officials where the Cardinal answered questions and distributed a letter that will be provided to parishioners at Masses over the weekend.” The letter was published on Friday, February 10.

The 400-plus cases are a result of California’s “AB 218, legislation passed in 2019 that revived any time-barred claims for the sexual abuse of a minor and eliminated the statute of limitations for any lawsuit filed for the three years between Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2022.”

In the letter, McElroy stated that “none of them [the allegations] claim sexual abuse by any priest of the Diocese of San Diego currently in ministry.”

Detailing previous payouts for allegations of abuse, the cardinal said that “in 2007, the Diocese paid out $198 million to settle 144 claims of abuse that been brought during an earlier lifting of the statute of limitations. This depleted most of the assets of the Diocese. Even with insurance, the Diocese will not be able to pay out similar sums now.”

Because of the mounting claims, McElroy stated to parishes that “we may be facing a moment where the Diocese enters into bankruptcy in the coming months.”

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Liberal bishops around the world continue promoting heterodox views on homosexuality, female priests, divorce, contraception, and more — advancing anti-Catholic positions that jeopardize the salvation of souls.

Such bishops often sideline, ignore and even persecute traditional Catholics who simply ask that the Faith be preserved and passed on to their children.

But traditional Catholics cannot be silenced any longer, which is why we are uniting in this international boycott of modernist bishops and dioceses until the deposit of Faith is upheld by the hierarchy again. 

SIGN: We will not fund modernist bishops or priests who undermine the Catholic Faith, but rather direct our contributions towards faithful clergy and orders that work for the salvation of souls.

There are countless examples of bishops working against Christ's Church in calling for divine law to be ignored in favor of sexual, doctrinal and liturgical deviancy, even trying to clamp down on Catholics who practise the Faith. 

Just last year, Cardinal Cupich banned traditional prayers after Mass, and more recently has curtailed the Traditional Latin Mass in his diocese. 

The attack on the Faith is out in the open, with modernist bishops causing scandal in countless ways:

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JOIN THE BOYCOTT & SHARE! Tell everyone you know to STOP giving money to bishops who attack the Catholic Faith.

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P.S. — Demanding that liberal bishops be held to account through financial boycott will help save the Church from doctrinal and pastoral ruin. This is the first step in restoring the Faith for future generations. Our time is now, so please join us by signing today!


Photos: Pope Francis. Flickr. Long Thiên; Cardinal Cupich. Flickr. Goat_Girl; Collection Plate: Lisa F. Young/Shutterstock

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Attempting to throw a positive light on the motion to file for bankruptcy, the cardinal stated, “Bankruptcy would provide a pathway for ensuring that the assets of the diocese will be used equitably to compensate all victims of sexual abuse, while continuing the ministries of the Church for faith formation, pastoral life and outreach to the poor and the marginalized.  It would also provide a fund for future claimants of sexual abuse who have not filed a claim. Finally, bankruptcy would provide a conclusion to the tide of lawsuits covering alleged abuse as long as 75 years ago.”

Addressing potential concerns from parishes, the cardinal assured that “parish assets have been held in recent years by individual parish corporations” and that “almost without exception in other diocesan bankruptcies, parish assets have remained separate.”

However, McElroy indicated that such assets would likely be tapped for contributions due to the litigations, stating, “At the same time, parishes in a diocese undergoing bankruptcy typically contribute some limited monies to the funds for claimants.”

McElroy concluded the letter condemning clerical sexual abuse, declaring, “The sexual abuse of minors by priests and the way it was handled in the life of the Church constitute the greatest sin of our Church in the last century.  We must and will continue to protect minors with ever deeper vigor, provide healing resources to those who have been abused, and use our Diocesan assets to compensate those who were victimized. And we will never forget the harm that we have done.”

According to local news, Kevin Eckery, communications director for the diocese, said at a Friday news conference that the earliest claim dates to 1945. Eckery estimated that it would cost the diocese $550 million to settle all of the current cases. So far, no cases have gone to trial, and according to Eckery, only a handful of them have been identified as potentially moving forward to a full trial.

In response to the cardinal’s announcement of the potential filing for bankruptcy in the near future, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a support group for victims of clerical abuse, denounced the move as yet another effort by Cardinal McElroy and the Diocese of San Diego to obfuscate full exposure of the truth and all pertinent evidence regarding the cases brought forward.

In a statement released on the matter, the group said, “Regardless of the outcome this time around, we call on California Attorney General Rob Bonta of California to use the powers of his office, including subpoena power, to get to the answers and secrets that church officials are trying to keep by moving toward bankruptcy.”

The statement continued:

California has the largest Catholic population in the nation. We know that secular investigations produce the most evidence in cases of sexual abuse by ordained, professed, or lay professionals employed by the Catholic church. Insolvency is yet another track for church officials to run away from the reality of abuse and revictimize those who suffered the most harm.

The truth about how the abuse was tolerated, by whom, and where, as well as all other real evidence, are equally as vital to survivors and their families as reparations are; without that truth, a safe Catholic diocese in San Diego will not emerge, and these crimes will be replayed.

McElroy himself is known to have kept priests in ministry after allegations of sexual abuse have been substantiated, and was accused of refusing to cooperate in the investigation of what turned out to be a satanic ritual rape by a priest of the diocese committed just over a decade ago.

The cardinal has also openly pushed for the acceptance of sexually deviant lifestyles and behaviors, denying the teaching of Scripture and the Church that all sexual acts outside of marriage are gravely sinful. McElroy published a recent essay in America Magazine in which he called for active homosexuals to be admitted to Holy Communion, for which he has been publicly corrected by Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver and Bishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City.

READ: Denver archbishop refutes Cdl. McElroy’s call for ‘radical inclusion’ of homosexuals, adulterers

McElroy has also advocated for transgender ideology and practices — which permanently and irreversibly harm children through the mutilation of healthy body parts — hosting a nationally known drag queen at a Mass for LGBT children and their families.

In light of these facts, it would seem difficult, if not impossible, for a bishop who rejects the Church’s fundamental teachings on sexual morality and sin to properly and adequately address the problem of clerical sexual abuse.

The Diocese of San Diego has published a list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors, updated Nov. 15, 2022, on the diocesan website.


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