Tuesday, July 26, 2005

389,000 Catholic Parishioners in Oregon Are Defendants in Massive Lawsuit

This is an interesting twist...

FROM THE ARTICLE (click on the post title for the link)-

PORTLAND, Ore. - A federal bankruptcy judge on Friday joined together an estimated 389,000 Roman Catholic parishioners in western Oregon as defendants in a massive lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by priests.

The action by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris is unusual because typically plaintiffs, not defendants, organize as a class in civil cases. But in this instance, lawyers for members of 124 parishes will argue that parishioners - not the archdiocese - own $600 million in church assets and property. If their argument succeeds, it would make the assets off-limits to plaintiffs.
More than 240 abuse claims are pending against the Archdiocese of Portland, seeking at least $400 million in damages. More than 100 cases have been settled, while others are headed to mediation.

The archdiocese has said it has only about $19 million to its name.