Deadline for victims of church sex abuse to file claims expires

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 6:51 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The deadline to file a sexual abuse claim against the Archdiocese of New Orleans in its federal bankruptcy case expired as of March 1, 2021.

The church filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in May of last year. It said it was necessary because of ongoing budget challenges and the financial strain of decades-old clergy abuse litigation.

We spoke with attorney James Stang, who represents the creditors committee in the bankruptcy proceedings, which includes alleged sexual abuse victims. He said as of about two weeks ago, there were 180 claims against the church on file. He expected to see claims come in until the last minute.

“We know that sexual abuse of children is the most under-reported crime in the United States and the fact that there is a claim deadline, as much as we want people to understand that this deadline affects their rights, someone has to be emotionally, psychologically ready to come forward with a claim,” said Stang.

We also reached out to the Archdiocese of New Orleans about the deadline. In a statement, the church said:

“Today is the final day for abuse survivors to file any claims of abuse relative to the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The process of reviewing the claims established by the courts will begin. There will also be a review to ensure all canonical procedures of the church are followed. It is our hope that this brings us one step closer to healing for survivors of abuse and look to the day when we can be reconciled with those who have been hurt.”

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