Archbishop Wester: Cathedral Will be Mortgaged to Pay for Sex Abuse Settlements

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is asking parishes to help provide at least $12 million of $75 million needed to satisfy the terms of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings stemming from hundreds of clergy abuse lawsuits — and one method to help fund the debt will be to mortgage the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

A June 17 letter from Archbishop John C. Wester informed parishes of the intention to mortgage the cathedral in Santa Fe, considered by many as the emotional and spiritual center for Roman Catholics in New Mexico.

“If the market value is not enough to collatoralize the loan, an additional property may be required to collatoralize the loan,” Wester wrote. “Any property mortgaged will not be lost because of the collective commitment of the parishes to pay the debt.”

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