Friday, February 18, 2011

The Bankrupt Oregon Province

Fr. James E. Poole, S.J.
Lawyers representing a group of people who accuse Jesuit priests of s@xual abuse filed 37 lawsuits Thursday in the bankruptcy involving the region's Jesuits, asking for about $3.1 million. The lawsuits, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland, claim that the regional order paid out money to various entities before declaring bankruptcy two years ago and that that money should actually be part of the order's assets. 
Some of money went towards training priests and other funds were spent on faculty and student tuition at a time when abuse victims were seeking millions in dollars in damages against the order, said James Stang, a lawyer representing a creditor's committee that brought the lawsuits. 
Stang said the suits do not contend that the Jesuits were trying to protect their assets from abuse claims. "I don't think this is a hiding issue," he said. "It's not illegal. This is what Jesuits do. They support education. That's a fine thing to do, when you're not insolvent." The region's Jesuits, a Roman Catholic order formally known as the Oregon Province of Society of Jesus, filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 17, 2009 in the face of s@x-abuse lawsuits brought against Jesuit priests. Between 2001 and early 2009, the order settled more than 200 legal claims, paying out $25 million. 
Link (here) to the full story at Oregon Live
Go (here) to read the public record about the 40 plus Jesuits whose activities led to the bankruptcy. Fr. James Poole, S.J. is one of the Jesuits. Read more  (here), (here), (here), (here), (here), (here), (here), (here), (here), (here), (here), (here), (here), (here), (here), (here) and (here) 


Maria said...

One won't hear about this at America Magazine. It is always about "those other priests" and those "corrupt Bishops"...

Anonymous said...

If Maria had much of a brain, she'd know full well that lawyers will insist that accused parties not talk about their misdeeds in other venues, especially print, and may not even take cases from people they consider to be jokes.

The evil that these predators did is all too real; nevertheless the bargaining between victims' attorneys and those carrying the can for the perps is cold, hard, bargaining in which any admissions will be used as cudgels to extract more dough.

If the Jebbies were blowing their dough on hookers on Vegas I'd be mad as hell; but since they generally do good with their assets, I can't join Maria's ranting in good faith.

Anonymous said...

"If the Jebbies were blowing their dough on hookers on Vegas I'd be mad as hell;" I disagree. I'd be a helluva a lot happier if it turned out the Jebbies were gambling, heterosexual swingers. It beats finding out they're pedophiles and sodomites. I don't have a problem with gay priests, but the fact that they lie about it, i.e. they insist that they're celibate, is the ultimate joke and a hypocrisy. How stupid do they think we are? (Rhetorical question).

Maria said...

Anonymous # 1:

Coming from a family replete with lawyers who were the products of a Jesuit education, I can tell you that it is not by accident that the Jesuits spend their time at America Mag focusing on the sins of their conferes in others orders. Hmmm. We sure aren't thinking about how the Jebbies have fallen short of the glory of God whilst reading up on the sins of the Bishops now are we?

Anonymous said...

I, too, am Jesuit educated. There were ones I really respected, and others I found harder to fathom.

I've seen how the press on three continents do a much better job of covering misdeeds by those with no connections to the media's owners or employees.

Bemoaning this seems like chiding water for being wet.

Paul said...

In dramatic scenes, the archbishops of Dublin and Boston washed and dried the feet of eight victims of clerical abuse on Sunday in a Dublin cathedral. The archbishops invited five women and three men who were abused to come forward and have their feet washed. Several of them cried as Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston kneeled and washed and dried their feet. Martin stated he was deeply sorry for what happened in his Dublin archdiocese.

Jesuits its your turn....

Anonymous said...

The money sought to be recovered are what known as bankruptcy preference payments.

It looks to me as if the payments were made to creditors in the ordinary course of business. That is, if the Oregon Province normally pays a novice's tuition then the payment can't be "clawed back" to benefit the tort creditors.

The one statement by the Alaska lawyer that the Oregon Province owns Gonzaga and Seattle University is an outrage, factually wrong and legally inaccurate. But considering that the plaintiffs' lawyers extracted $55,000,000, then why not say anything?