North American Christian Brothers file for bankruptcy

The Christian Brothers in North America have filed for bankruptcy amid mounting claims of sexual abuse against its US and Canadian members.

The bulk of the claims comes from the Seattle area, said Michael Petterson, a lawyer for the Catholic Archdiocese in Seattle.

“It’s a sad day. We’re very disappointed that it reached this level,” Patterson told Reuters on Thursday night.

“We had hoped that we could have partnered with the Christian Brothers to settle claims. What this means is that victims now have to deal with this out of bankruptcy court.”

The order filed for bankruptcy in a bid to shield its assets in Rome, the lawyer added.

“They made money taking over the care of children but put many of their members who were known abusers in charge of them,” Pfau said. “Then they tried to cover it up. This bankruptcy is just another effort for them to avoid responsibility.”

A spokesperson for the Christian Brothers did not say how many claims were pending although victims’ attorneys estimate there are more than 50 claims, reports.

Citing “changing needs”, in particular the declining number of brothers in the developed world. The three provinces of North America, Canada, Eastern American, and Western American Province, restructured into the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers North America on 1 July 2005.



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