The order said its finances were threatened by more than $25 million in damages paid in previous legal cases to victims of sexual abuse by priests. Fearing more cases and looking to limit future liability, the order declared bankruptcy.The judge in the case eventually gave attorneys until Nov. 30 to file claims on behalf of new sex abuse victims. That led to a massive search and numerous meetings across the West, as lawyers tracked down stories of priests who abused their parishioners.
They found men like Don Havranek and Jim Jones, grown men who were children in Missoula in the 1950s and 1960s, when Father Bernard Harris served at St. Francis Xavier Church.Havranek and Jones told their emotional, tragic story of abuse by Harris in the Missoulian, prompting dozens of calls from other victims. "We probably wound up with 25 cases or so involving Harris," Kosnoff said.
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Photo is of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Missoula, Montana