Today, May 29, 2020, Lamothe Law Firm was present as the Archdiocese of New Orleans attended a meeting with its creditors. Father Patrick Carr, in his capacity as the Third Vice President, Director and Vicar of Finance of the Debtor, appeared to answer questions under oath.
Father Carr announced to the creditors that the Archdiocese intends to propose a reorganization plan under which they pay 100% value of all “allowed claims.” When questioned as to the meaning of “allowed claims,” he was unable to provide information as to how they will compensate claims for which the deadline to file a lawsuit has already passed. Father Carr was also unable to answer whether the Archdiocese has a moral obligation to fully compensate all abuse survivors for the harm that was done to them.
When one creditor asked whether the Archdiocese was in fact insolvent, Father Carr was clear that the Archdiocese is not insolvent. When asked why they filed for bankruptcy if they are not insolvent, Father Carr was unable to give an answer other than to say that the Archdiocese intends to pay 100% of allowed claims.
When asked whether the Archdiocese will make public all of its documents related to the identification of abusive priests, the Archdiocese merely stated that they would provide information as it becomes necessary in accordance with the bankruptcy proceedings. Father Carr stated that he was “not certain” disclosure of such documents would aid in the healing of survivors.
The Catholic Code of Canon law §489 provides that a bishop shall maintain a “secret archive” under lock and key containing all the diocesan documents whose secrecy must “be most carefully guarded.” When asked whether the Archdiocese maintains such files in Archbishop Aymond’s possession, and whether such files contain information regarding the identification of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse, Father Carr stated that he does not know whether Archbishop has any such documents in his possession. Archbishop Aymond was not present to answer the question himself, despite the fact that the Creditors Committee had requested that he be present at the meeting. No explanation was given for his absence.
Lamothe Law Firm is working hard to secure full compensation for its clients who are survivors of abuse in this bankruptcy. If you have not called us yet, please contact us to discuss your claim. We can help you determine if you may be entitled to damages and represent you during the Archdiocese of New Orleans bankruptcy proceedings.