Diocese of Camden files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid pandemic, lawsuits

CAMDEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The Most Reverend Dennis J. Sullivan, the Bishop of Camden, has disclosed that the diocese is filing for Chapter 11 reorganization, what most people would call bankruptcy.

The diocese, which serves 486,000 Catholics in 62 parishes in South Jersey, is apparently in desperate financial straights. The two main problems: the COVID-19 pandemic and sex abuse claims.

The diocese has already paid out more than $8 million to victims of past sexual abuse and still faces over 50 lawsuits.

"The effects of the pandemic, which have curtailed our revenue and deeply impacted our parishioners and neighbors, were further compounded by the over $8 million we have paid out this year through the New Jersey Independent Victims Compensation Program to victims of clergy abuse, money which we have had to borrow," said Sullivan.

The Diocese of Camden says it believes Chapter 11 is the best course of action to ensure that all abuse survivors are compensated fairly and equitably, and to enable it to continue to provide critical services to people across South Jersey.
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