Norwich Becomes 26th US Diocese to Declare Bankruptcy Due To Sexual Abuse Crisis

A Roman Catholic diocese in Connecticut filed for federal bankruptcy protection on Thursday, July 15, to resolve dozens of lawsuits alleging the abuse of teenage students decades ago at the former Academy at Mount St. John School, a residential treatment center for troubled youth in Deep River.

Documents filed by the Norwich Diocese, which oversaw the facility, indicate it has $50 million to $100 million in estimated liabilities owed to 50 to 99 creditors. To date, nearly 60 former residents of the school have sued the diocese and a former bishop for damages, exceeding the diocese’s current financial ability to pay, according a statement issued by the diocese.


“A Chapter 11 bankruptcy will allow the court to centralize these lawsuits, as well as help the Diocese manage its litigation expenses and preserve adequate financial resources for all essential ministries,” Bishop Michael Cote said in a statement. “If the Diocese had not filed for bankruptcy, it would be unable to ensure that all of the individuals who file claims are treated fairly and have equal access to the funds available.”

According to the filing, the diocese has $10 million to $50 million in assets.

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