The Washington diocese and the law firm it sued for malpractice over the handling of a $48 million sex abuse settlement and bankruptcy plan have settled out of court.
Just a few weeks before starting the legal malpractice trial, the Spokane, Wash., diocese and the diocese's former legal counsel, the Spokane-based Paine Hamblen law firm, agreed to a settlement, according to a joint press release published Friday. The lawsuit brought by the diocese stems from the diocese's 2007 bankruptcy because of priest sexual abuse claims.
The diocese released a brief statement:
Updated: The archdiocese described the bankruptcy as "the fairest way" to resolve existing and future claims of sexual abuse; Archbishop John Nienstedt restates he is not resigning.
Fr. Charles Engelhardt, 67, died Nov. 15 in prison two years into a six-to-12-year sentence.
An Indian priest faces an obscenity charge after asking a teenage boy to help him delete images of child pornography from his cellphone.
One of the claimants in the bankruptcy described the proposed settlement as "a Christmas gift for lawyers" and said it likely would not be approved by the committee of creditors.
"Questionable financial activities" have put the Order of Friars Minor's financial stability at "grave risk," the order's minister general says.
Young Voices: I sometimes wonder if Mary had a choice. "Let it be done to me according to your will" doesn't exactly sound like a full "yes" to me.
Commentary: Without attitudinal and structural changes among not the women investigated but those who initiated the investigation, this mistake and others like it will be repeated.
Peter Saunders, an English survivor of clerical abuse, had called on Pope Francis in July to hand over information about abusive priests to state authorities.