Pennsylvania Catholic diocese files for bankruptcy protection

The Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg on Wednesday became the first in Pennsylvania to file for bankruptcy protection, a move that followed the August announcement that the diocese paid $12 million to more than 100 people to settle claims of sexual abuse filed against clergy and others working in the diocese.

In 2018, a grand jury found that more than 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania had sexually abused children over seven decades, and that the crimes were covered up by church leaders.

Harrisburg was one of the six dioceses named in the grand jury’s report. Under Pennsylvania law, many of the victims are now too old to sue — something state lawmakers and advocates say they want changed.

Since 2004, 20 Catholic dioceses in the United States have filed for bankruptcy protection.

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