STOCKTON — Roman Catholic Bishop Stephen Blaire of the Stockton Diocese sent a letter to each parish last week, saying there appears to be no options other than filing for bankruptcy.
Moving in this direction will enable us to continue to meet our obligations to the victims of sexual abuse, to the poor and vulnerable, and to you, our people, he wrote. I anticipate the diocese making a decision based on our financial future after the first of the year.
The bankruptcy move is due to an accumulation of large payouts nearly $32 million so far to victims of clergy sexual abuse, which has depleted the diocesan reserve fund, Blaire has said in the past. The bankruptcy would affect only the diocesan budget and not that of individual parishes, which have been set up as independent corporations, he added.