Delaware Diocese May Sell Assets to Pay Abuse Settlements

May 19, 2009

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware, may have to sell assets to pay for settlements in child sexual abuse cases.

Bishop Francis Malooly says settlements will probably exceed $9 million next month. But Diocesan spokesman Robert Krebs says officials won’t decide whether to sell assets until the church’s liability and the number of lawsuits are known this summer.

A letter of Malooly’s published recently in The Dialog, the diocese’s weekly newspaper, said financial settlements are part of the church’s process to bring healing and restore trust.

The diocese has paid $6 million since 2002; only $2 million was paid between the 1980s and 2002. Most of Delaware’s 57 cases were filed after the state adopted the Child Victim’s Act in 2007.

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