SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Archdiocese of San Francisco announced on Monday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco said in a press release on its website it filed for bankruptcy to "facilitate settlements with abuse survivors" in more than 500 sex abuse lawsuits that allegedly occurred 30 or more years ago "involving priests who are no longer active in ministry or are deceased."
The archdiocese said "the filing is necessary to manage and resolve the more than 500 lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse brought against RCASF under California Assembly Bill 218, which allowed decades-old claims to be filed by December 31, 2022, that otherwise were time barred."
Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows the Roman Catholic archdiocese to keep operating while it addresses the lawsuits collectively, instead of individually.
The statement also said:
"The unfortunate reality is that the Archdiocese has neither the financial means nor the practical ability to litigate all of these abuse claims individually, and therefore, after much consideration, concluded that the bankruptcy process was the best solution for providing fair and equitable compensation to the innocent survivors who have been harmed," said Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco.
"It is the best way to bring much-needed resolution to survivors while allowing the Archdiocese to continue its sacred mission to the faithful and those in need. We must seek purification and redemption to heal, especially survivors who have carried the burdens of these sins against them for decades," he wrote.
In the statement, the archdiocese said it has paid more than $70 million to sex abuse survivors.
The bankruptcy filing does not affect parochial schools or the 88 parishes operating under the archdiocese.
The Archdiocese of Oakland filed for bankruptcy in May.
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