Catholic diocese's bankruptcy filing delays sex abuse trial - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Catholic diocese's bankruptcy filing delays sex abuse trial

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- A sexual abuse case against a former priest and the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Del., won't be going ahead as planned today, after the diocese filed for federal bankruptcy protection.

The filing last yesterday automatically delayed the case. It was to have been the first of eight consecutive abuse trials scheduled in Delaware.

The diocese's bishop calls the filing a "painful decision," but necessary to ensure that the church can fairly compensate all victims of sexual abuse by its priests.

An attorney for 88 alleged victims describes the move as a "desperate effort to hide the truth from the public and conceal thousands of pages of scandalous documents."

The bankruptcy filing lists the diocese's assets as being between $50 million and $100 million, but says its estimated debt is between $100 million and $500 million.

The Diocese of Wilmington is the seventh U.S. Catholic diocese to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since the church abuse scandal erupted seven years ago in the Archdiocese of Boston.

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