This Maryland law eliminates previous time constraints on the filing of civil lawsuits against institutions that harbored child predators. A wave of civil suits is expected to hit Maryland courthouses on Monday.
Of course the soulless attorneys for the Archdiocese of Baltimore filed for bankruptcy on Friday and created a block to suits from victims. That these institutionalized child sex predator mills can use Chapter 11 bankruptcy to thwart victim lawsuits is unconscionable. The Catholic church (and the Boy Scouts, schools, and other organizations like USA Gymnastics) rely on society’s blatant failure to believe the kids who come forward to report abuse, as well as the fact that many will not acknowledge or report the abuse for many years if not decades. In the case of priests, the church literally plays hide the salami, moving predators from parish to parish and state to state and turns a blind eye. A tax-exempt organization, they simply employ armies of attorneys to bully victims and lobbyists to protect their shady interests. Then they happily use bankruptcy law to shut down victims (from conducting discovery and from fair compensation) and protect their vast wealth. Their main concern is not in restructuring their debt and it feels like a massive fraud.
“The use of bankruptcy proceedings by Catholic organizations as a means to resolve mass tort liability for clergy sexual abuse has been remarkably successful.” Mary T. Reilly, Catholic Dioceses in Bankruptcy, 49 Seton Hall L. Review 871,921 (2019); https://elibrary.law.psu.edu/bankruptcy/105/. Bankruptcy laws must be amended to take away this page from the Catholic church’s very big and unfair playbook.
As has been discussed before, due to the dirty tricks of the church hierarchy, these monsters get moved around and criminal charges are often not filed for decades. Then prosecutors and judges often fall for the “but he’s an old man” line and agree to a pathetically light sentence. They see an old, diminished, sad sack of a man. They don’t acknowledge the evil, hypocritical monster that still lives beneath that stooped posture, wrinkled face and watery old eyes and even beneath dementia.
So this institution and many others that turn a blind eye to the sex predators on their staff, ought to lose their asses in civil court and not be able to hide behind Chapter 11 to recreate a viable economic entity by reorganizing their debt structure. You should have thought about that when the first complaint came in, idiots.