The statewide Diocese of Burlington, Vt., is preparing to sell its headquarters building and a now-closed camp to help pay for claims and judgments stemming from clerical sexual abuse.
The diocese has been in the process of selecting a broker to judge the worth of the properties and market them to potential buyers, according to Father Dan White, communications director and associate chancellor of the diocese.
Liens had been placed on the two properties after a Colorado man, a former altar server in Burlington in the 1970s, won an $8.75 million judgment against the diocese after arguing he had been molested by a priest, Father Edward Paquette. The man recently reached an out-of-court settlement with the diocese while the diocese was appealing the judgment to the Vermont Supreme Court, allowing the sales to take place.
Father White, in a March 2 interview with Catholic News Service, said no one in the diocese knows the worth of the properties since they are tax-exempt entities and not on the tax rolls.
The diocesan headquarters building is a former Catholic orphanage which sits on a 30-acre site. It is about 70 percent empty, according to Father White.