NY Diocese Sells Property & Posts Accused Priest List During Bankruptcy
During bankruptcy proceedings, Rockville Centre Diocese released a list of priests accused of sex abuse. The diocese also sold property to compensate victims.
The Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre is currently in bankruptcy proceedings, following numerous priest abuse claims. The New York diocese is responsible for Catholic parishes in Long Island, New York.
Most recently, the diocese announced two major updates in the bankruptcy proceedings.
- In March 2021, the Rockville Centre Diocese sold its headquarters for $5.2 million to pay its creditors.
- In April 2021, the Rockville Centre Diocese released a list of priests accused of sexual abuse.
The recent actions of the diocese move it one step closer towards a reorganization plan. These actions also benefit clergy abuse survivors who have filed claims against the diocese.
To receive compensation from the Rockville Centre Diocese, survivors must file an abuse claim through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court by August 14, 2021. Survivors who do not meet this filing deadline will lose their right to compensation from the diocese. Consult a lawyer today to learn more about the claims process.
Rockville Centre Diocese Sells Headquarters
In March, the Rockville Centre Diocese sold its headquarters — commonly referred to as the Chancery — for $5.2 million. The property includes a five-story office building and a parking lot.
Prior to its sale, the pastoral center housed offices for diocesan officials, including officials in charge of the local Catholic school system.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved the sale. According to diocesan spokesperson Sean Dolan, all proceeds of the sale will be used to pay creditors. However, Dolan did not clarify if the money would be used exclusively to pay clergy abuse settlements.
Dolan did say the sale will not affect diocesan operations. Much of the building was not in use before its sale. But, the diocese is still searching for a new location for its headquarters.
Rockville Centre Diocese Releases Accused Priest List
In April, the Rockville Centre Diocese published a list of more than 100 priests and clergy members accused of child sexual abuse.
Many of the names were already known due to lawsuits or criminal convictions. However, in some cases with confidential out-of-court settlements, this was the first time certain abusive priests were publicly named.
Catholic dioceses across the country have released similar lists of accused priests. The Rockville Centre Diocese was the last diocese in New York to release a list of accused clergy members.
According to the Democrat and Chronicle, the diocese had originally asked the court to keep the names of the accused from the public. However, lawyers representing Gannett Co. Inc. — the parent company of the Democrat and Chronicle — filed a motion against the diocese. They argued publicly identifying alleged abusers is an important part of handling the claims.
“In the church and in other organizations, it is secrecy that perpetuates the abuse of the vulnerable.”
The names of abuse victims will remain confidential through the proceedings. Neither the diocese nor the Democrat and Chronicle objected to this measure of privacy for victims.
Rockville Centre Diocese Bankruptcy
The Rockville Centre Diocese filed for bankruptcy in October while facing more than 200 lawsuits. Survivors filed these lawsuits under the New York Child Victims Act (CVA). The New York CVA has allowed hundreds of clergy abuse survivors to take legal action against the Church and their abusers.
Survivors looking to file an abuse claim against the Rockville Centre Diocese must do so by August 14, 2021.
Jones, B. (2021, March 26). Long Island’s Catholic Diocese sells headquarters for $5.2M amid bankruptcy. Newsday.
Katz, C. (2021, April 23). For First Time, Diocese Releases List of ‘Credibly Accused” Clergy. The East Hampton Star.
Lahman, S. (2021, April 21). Rochester’s Catholic diocese barred from shielding identities of accused priests. Democrat and Chronicle.
McLogan, J. (2021, March 29). Diocese Of Rockville Centre Sells Headquarters Amid Bankruptcy Due To Child Victims Act Lawsuits. CBS New York.
(2021, April 22). Diocese of Rockville Centre identifies clergy accused of sexual abuse in court documents. News12 Long Island.