The province declared bankruptcy nearly three years ago, around the time that the group agreed to pay $166.1 million to about 500 people abused by Jesuit priests at schools in the Pacific Northwest. It was one of the Catholic Church’s biggest sex-abuse settlements. At the time, the National Catholic Reporter reported that the province would pay $48.1 million and that the order’s insurer would pay the rest.
On Jan. 16, Seattle University paid the Jesuits $2.2 million for the Arrupe Jesuit Community Building, which is on campus at 924 E. Cherry St. SU had previously owned the land but not the building, which serves as a home to Jesuits.
The purchase will help Seattle University, a Jesuit-run institution, ensure the continued presence of “a vibrant Jesuit community on our campus and is consistent with the relationship between other Jesuit universities and their Jesuits,” SU spokeswoman Stacy Howard said in a statement. Pat Walsh, the spokesman for the Oregon province of the Society of Jesus, said the sale is unrelated to the sexual-abuse settlement. The bankruptcy was over with several years ago, and the people who had claims against the province have been paid, he said. Money from the sale of the building will go into the province’s budget and could be used to fund the care of elderly priests, Walsh said, adding that Jesuits have been selling residence halls to Jesuit educational institutions.
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