Unknown this early in the proceedings is whether Jesuit institutions such as schools and universities and other ministries will be affected.
Lee was not available to answer questions. Pat Walsh, spokesperson for the province, told NCR that neither the order’s lawyers nor officials of the province were commenting beyond Lee’s statement and a question-and-answer document regarding bankruptcy procedure that also is posted on the website.
Walsh, however, made special note of the claim contained on the website that most of the abuse alleged occurred “40, 50, and even 60 years ago” and that of “nearly 3,000 Jesuits who have served in the Oregon Province since 1950, less than one percent has credible allegations of misconduct made against them.” Most of those accused, according to the website, are either dead or elderly and ill. (Not quite true, I have counted 38 Jesuits who served within the Oregon Province, The published claim would would put the number in the high twentys)
“Our decision to file Chapter 11 was not an easy one,” said Lee in his statement, “but with approximately 200 additional claims pending or threatened, it is the only way we believe that all claimants can be offered a fair financial settlement within the limited resources of the Province.”
Lee said the province had already settled more than 200 claims since 2001 and had paid in excess of $25 million from its own resources.
While the Jesuits assert that only a tiny minority of the priests who have worked in the province have been credibly accused of abuse, plaintiff’s lawyers charge that the order used the Northwest United States as a “dumping ground” for priests with problems.
Link (here) to the full article in the NCR