Judge hears arguments over Archdiocese of New Orleans bankruptcy

Updated: Aug. 20, 2020 at 6:48 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - A federal bankruptcy judge heard nearly three hours of arguments Thursday as to whether the bankruptcy filing by the Archdiocese of New Orleans should be allowed to move forward in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Attorneys representing dozens of victims argued that the church has more than a half-billion dollars in assets and is not in insolvent. They say the federal bankruptcy action is unjustified and they want clergy sex abuse litigation moved back to state court.

“The church is in a difficult position. Every Sunday they display the gold chalices in churches across the archdiocese. We look at the big buildings, we put the money in the baskets, we know about everything they have and for them to come in and poor mouth it may be a little difficult. That’s what these hearings are about. The plaintiffs want to get as much of that out as possible and in front of the judge but in a bigger picture in front of the people who may get a chance to decide if it goes back to the state court,” said FOX 8 Legal Analysts Joe Raspanti.

Attorneys for the archdiocese said that they are not insolvent but they are facing mounting deaths and are heading toward insolvency. Judge Meredith S. Grabill has asked for more briefs in this matter and will decide in the coming weeks whether the federal bankruptcy action will be allowed to move forward.

The church has said it needs to file for bankruptcy to protest itself from numerous sex abuse lawsuits.

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