Judge Sets Deadline For Abuse Claims Vs. Harrisburg Diocese

May 14, 2020

A federal judge is giving most claimants until Nov. 13 to seek compensation over child sexual abuse from the Harrisburg Roman Catholic Diocese, which sought bankruptcy protection earlier this year.

The order signed last week by Chief Bankruptcy Judge Henry Van Eck also gave governmental entities until Dec. 11 to file proofs of claims for debts.

The diocese issued a statement on Wednesday that encouraged anyone with a claim involving “any actual or alleged sexual offense” by its clergy, teachers, employees or volunteers to submit a claims form.

The statement said the diocese offered its "most sincere and heartfelt apology to every survivor for the terrible crimes they suffered.”

The Harrisburg diocese has said it has paid more than $12 million to at least 111 people to compensate them for being sexually abused as children by its clerics, deacons and seminarians.

Harrisburg, the first diocese in Pennsylvania to seek bankruptcy protection, has said it faces potentially significant financial exposure from remaining claimants, with more than 200 creditors and liabilities estimated at between $50 million and $100 million.

The diocese serves about 250,000 Catholics in 89 parishes.