Another California Catholic diocese will seek bankruptcy protection from hundreds of sex-abuse claims

— The San Diego diocese’s Chapter 11 petition will be filed Monday, Cardinal Robert McElroy says

Bishop Charles Francis Buddy Pastoral Center, Diocese of San Diego in Clairemont on Thursday, June 13, 2024 in San Diego, California.


The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego announced Thursday that it plans to return to U.S. bankruptcy court to help manage its response to hundreds of lawsuits filed by people who say they were sexually assaulted by Catholic priests when they were young.

It is the second time San Diego church officials have gone to bankruptcy court to limit damage from claims from child sex-abuse victims.

Cardinal Robert McElroy, who serves as bishop to the 1.4 million Catholics in San Diego and Imperial counties, alerted parishioners to the decision in an open letter that was publicly released by the diocese on Thursday.

The legal action, which is expected to be filed Monday, comes after church officials acknowledged last year that they were considering a return to bankruptcy court and began mediation with survivors.

“For the past year, the Diocese has held substantive and helpful negotiations with the attorneys representing the victims of abuse, and I, in collaboration with the leadership of the Diocese, have come to the conclusion that this is the moment to enter formally into bankruptcy and continue negotiations as part of the bankruptcy process,” McElroy wrote.

Lawyers representing the 400-plus plaintiffs in San Diego Superior Court lawsuits said the decision shows the diocese is more interested in protecting its assets than protecting the people who attended its schools and services.

“After nearly a year of mediation, we were hoping that child sexual abuse survivors, the Diocese and its insurer would have been able to reach a settlement and an agreed-to plan for compensating victims through the inevitable bankruptcy announced by the Diocese about a year ago,” plaintiffs’ attorney Irwin Zalkin said.

“Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened.”

Plaintiffs’ lawyers said the Catholic Diocese of San Diego is the 13th diocese across the country to seek bankruptcy protection from sexual-abuse survivors.

“It has become very clear that these Catholic Diocese and their insurers have adopted a national strategy to use Chapter 11 bankruptcies to resolve child sexual abuse cases in a way that reduces the compensation paid to survivors,” said attorney Devin Storey, a Zalkin law partner who also represents victims.

McElroy said the Diocese was facing two moral claims: the need for just compensation for victims and the need to further the church’s mission of education, service and outreach to the poor and neglected.

“Bankruptcy offers the best pathway to achieve both,” he said.

In 2007, the Diocese of San Diego agreed to pay almost $200 million to 144 people who reported sexual abuse by priests — a settlement that was reached after the church filed for bankruptcy protection.

The Chapter 11 proceeding more than 15 years ago was marred by accusations from victims’ lawyers that church officials deliberately hid assets from the bankruptcy court in order to limit damages.

Zalkin on Thursday circulated quotes from the judge who oversaw the 2007 case.

“The term ‘disingenuous’ as applied to the Diocese description of assets available to fund the settlement is completely accurate,” then-U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Louise De Carl Adler said in a ruling.

“The church needs to look within itself,” she added. “Chapter 11 is not supposed to be a vehicle or a method to hammer down on the claims of the abused.”

A state law passed in 2019 opened a new window for victims of clergy sex abuse to file claims against the church for three years ending in 2022 — and ultimately resulted in 457 new claims against the San Diego diocese.

That same year, in the weeks leading up to the bill being signed into law, the diocese systematically transferred ownership of hundreds of its properties.

According to an analysis by The San Diego Union-Tribune published last year, the diocese owned 376 properties at the start of 2019 but just 76 by that year’s end — an 80 percent drop. None of the property transfers involved money changing hands or other monetary consideration.

Church officials said the changes were not aimed at reducing assets in response to the 2019 legislation. Rather, a spokesperson told the Union-Tribune that process of transferring church assets had begun in 2010 and simply took years to complete.

The bankruptcy filing expected to be filed Monday will involve only the diocese itself, church officials said — not the 96 individual parishes, 49 elementary and secondary schools or the charitable or other programs that operate under the church’s guidance.

Even so, schools and parishes may have to help pay off any eventual settlement, McElroy said.

“It is clear that as part of providing appropriate compensation to past victims of the sexual abuse of minors, both the parishes and high schools will have to contribute substantially to the ultimate settlement in order to bring finality to the liability they face,” he wrote.

In his message to parishioners, McElroy said almost 60 percent of the allegations brought forward in the current litigation are more than 50 years old. He also said the church has taken steps to prevent such abuse but that those reforms do not excuse past behavior.

“The tremendous strides we have made in the past 20 years to protect minors in the church and beyond cannot begin to mitigate the enormous moral responsibility that I, as your bishop, and the entire Catholic community continue to bear,” he wrote.

“May God never let this shame pass from our sight, and may God’s tenderness envelop the innocent children and teenagers who were victimized.”

Complete Article HERE!

Catholic bishops apologize for church’s role operating Indian boarding schools

— In Friday vote, church leaders cite a “history of trauma” inflicted on Native Americans, including generations of children removed from their families to be forcibly assimilated.

Clarita Vargas, 64, one of the survivors of St. Mary’s Mission, an Indian boarding school, stands in the St. Mary’s church on the Colville Reservation on Feb. 20 in Omak, Wash.

by and 

U.S. Catholic bishops issued a formal apology Friday morning for the church’s role in inflicting a “history of trauma” on Native Americans, including at church-run Indian boarding schools where a Washington Post investigation published last month documented pervasive sexual abuse by priests.

The vote by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which establishes policies and norms for the church in the United States, represents the most direct expression of regret to date by church officials for past participation in a systematic effort by the U.S. government to forcibly assimilate Native Americans into White society. By a 181-2 vote, the bishops approved a document, called “Keeping Christ’s Sacred Promise: A Pastoral Framework for Indigenous Ministry.” Three people abstained.

The document does not specifically mention sexual abuse, but says “we all must do our part to increase awareness and break the culture of silence that surrounds all types of afflictions and past mistreatment and neglect.”

“The family systems of many Indigenous people never fully recovered from these tragedies, which often led to broken homes harmed by addiction, domestic abuse, abandonment and neglect,” the document states. “The Church recognizes that it has played a part in traumas experienced by Native children.”

While the 56-page document covers many aspects of the church’s relationship with Native Americans, it specifically highlights its role in the Indian boarding schools that were created in the 19th century as part of a U.S. government policy to eradicate Native American cultures.

For more than 100 years, children were removed from their families, stripped of their names, and often beaten for speaking their languages. Of more than 500 schools, 84 were operated by the Catholic Church or its religious affiliates, according to the bishops’ document.

Tens of thousands of Native American children were forced or coerced from their homes and sent to the boarding schools — the majority of them run or funded by the U.S. government — from 1819 until 1969. By 1900, 1 out of 5 Native American school-age children attended a boarding school. At least 500 children are believed to have died at the schools, according to the first major investigation into the boarding schools by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The Post investigation found that at least 122 priests, sisters and brothers were assigned to 22 Catholic-run boarding schools since the 1890s who were later accused of sexually abusing Native American children under their care. Most of the documented abuse happened in the 1950s and 1960s, and involved more than 1,000 children, mostly in the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska.

Vargas exits the St. Mary’s church. She was 8 when she was sent to live at St. Mary’s Mission, where she suffered years of sexual abuse.

The Friday apology follows decades of efforts by Native Americans who survived boarding schools and their descendants to seek accountability from the U.S. government, the Catholic Church, individual religious entities and the Catholic priests who they said abused them.

The Jesuits agreed to pay $166 million in 2011 to about 500 boarding school survivors in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. For four years, advocates for boarding school survivors have urged Congress to create a Truth and Healing Commission to investigate Indian boarding schools and the country’s assimilation policy. Legislation to create the commission, similar to one established more than 15 years ago in Canada, was reintroduced in the Senate last year and this year in the House, but has not reached the floor for a vote in either chamber.

In March, members of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition met at the White House with a top aide to President Biden to ask for a presidential apology for the widespread mistreatment and abuse that Native American children suffered at boarding schools. The White House has not responded to requests for comment about the potential for a presidential apology.

Pope Francis traveled to Canada in 2022 to apologize for the church’s role in what he said was that government’s “cultural destruction and forced assimilation,” but the pope has remained silent about abuses in the United States.

The bishops’ statement Friday, though, offered a blunt assessment of the legacy of abuse of Native Americans.

“In these schools, Indigenous children were forced to abandon their traditional languages, dress, and customs,” the statement says. “Boarding schools were seen as one expedient means to achieve this cultural assimilation because they separated Indigenous children from their families and Tribes and ‘Americanized’ them while they were still malleable.”

The Indian boarding school system “left a legacy of community and individual trauma that broke down family and support systems among Indigenous communities,” the document says.

“Sadly, many Indigenous Catholics have felt a sense of abandonment in their relationship with Church leaders due to a lack of understanding of their unique cultural needs,” the document states. “We apologize for the failure to nurture, strengthen, honor, recognize, and appreciate those entrusted to our pastoral care.”

The Friday statement seeks to distance the church from what it says were “European and Eurocentric world powers” that devised “their own justifications to enslave, mistreat, and remove Indigenous peoples from their lands.”

“Let us be very clear here: The Catholic Church does not espouse these ideologies.”

The document also makes a nod to the long-standing belief that the treatment of Native Americans by the Catholic Church led to intergenerational trauma that continues today.

“Historical traumas are a significant contributor to the breakdown of family life among many Indigenous peoples,” the document states.

The document calls for more accountability of the Catholic Church and says “all members of the Church should be open to cooperating with Tribal and other government investigations into any Catholic involvement in ethnic abuse.”

The document’s preface states that this is the first time the U.S. bishops group has officially mentioned its relationship with Indigenous communities since 1977, according to the draft. Back then, the group issued a seven-page document that, for example, encouraged Catholic schools to “promote programs and activities that will enable students at all levels to appreciate American Indian history, cultures and spirituality.”

The church has addressed abuse by priests in U.S. parishes, but it has said little about the molestation of children in Indian boarding schools. And although the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has grappled in recent years with the legacy of the church-run schools, it has not until now issued a formal apology.

In December, according to the Pillar, a news website that covers the Catholic Church, the conference was set to discuss the church’s role in Indian boarding schools, but in the end it fell short of addressing the issue. A document was written by the conference’s subcommittee on Native American affairs, the story said. But the group went into a private session and some bishops were worried that “passages intended to express regret and moral responsibility for that treatment of Native communities could have been interpreted to create potential legal liability for the bishops,” according to the Pillar.

When asked about this account last month, the conference’s spokeswoman, Chieko Noguchi, said “liability issues did not factor into the withdrawal of the document for a vote by the body of bishops.”

Complete Article HERE!

These Clergy Abuse Survivors Had a Chance to Find Justice.

— Then Their Diocese Filed for Bankruptcy.

Baltimore Catholic Archbishop William Lori greets parishioners after delivering Sunday Mass at Holy Family Catholic Church in July 2019, in Randallstown, Md.

As more states extend the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, churches are finding a legal workaround.


When Teresa Lancaster was a teenager in the 1970s, she was raped by a chaplain at her Catholic high school in Baltimore. But when she and another survivor, Jean Wehner, sued the chaplain and the diocese decades later, the court rejected their case, saying too much time had passed under Maryland law. Lancaster, by then in her mid-40s, enrolled in law school with one goal: to lift the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse lawsuits.

“It was crushing,” she said about losing the lawsuit. “I had to pick myself up and decide what I was going to do. I knew if I became a lawyer, people would have to listen to me, and I could gain some respect back.”

Lancaster went on to become an attorney for victims of sexual abuse, and she eventually testified in front of the Maryland state legislature in favor of statute of limitations reform. Last April, Lancaster finally saw her goal achieved when Governor Wes Moore signed the Child Victims Act into law. It was one of 26 similar laws passed in the wake of the MeToo movement and high-profile sexual assault scandals involving the Boy Scouts and USA Gymnastics. 

But even in victory, Lancaster was not fully at ease. “I told everybody, this is a win,” she said. “But I was ready for them to attack back.”

And they did. In September, just two days before the law went into effect, the Archdiocese of Baltimore filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy—meaning all lawsuits against the Archdiocese would be paused, and any sexual abuse claims against a church would have to go through the bankruptcy court. Now, Lancaster is working hard to finish filing claims for herself and 20 clients by a court-imposed May 31 deadline, or else risk losing their one shot to find justice.

In recent years, bankruptcy has become increasingly popular among Catholic dioceses as a tool to avoid bad press and prevent future litigation. After an organization files for bankruptcy, all civil litigation against it stops. Instead, the bankruptcy court sets a deadline for victims or other creditors to submit a claim against the organization. That deadline essentially overrides any statute of limitations reform passed by the state legislature—if victims don’t meet it, they likely can’t sue in the future. Then, claims are resolved with a batch settlement—which makes bankruptcy an appealing option to dioceses, because it allows them to settle hundreds of lawsuits via a single process rather than litigating them individually. In a statement, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori claimed that bankruptcy would “best allow the Archdiocese both to equitably compensate victim-survivors of child sexual abuse and ensure the local Church can continue its mission and ministries.”

But victims like Lancaster are skeptical. Many survivors and advocates argue that the bankruptcy process protects churches’ interests at the expense of victims. Unlike a civil trial, bankruptcy has no discovery process that would allow further information about abusers’ crimes to come to light—which means victims may be left with lingering questions about how much their churches knew about their abuse, or whether other people were victimized. In addition, because bankruptcy sets a deadline for claims, it can force victims to come forward before they’re ready, or risk losing their pathway to justice forever. Since many victims of childhood sexual abuse often don’t disclose their abuse for decades, the public may never know the full extent of clerical abuse.

“Survivors have a right to say, ‘This happened to me,’” said Wehner, who is also a claimant in the Baltimore bankruptcy case. “Because after this is done, we don’t get to do that anymore. What this bankruptcy does is shortens our time. It puts a pressure on us.”

Bankruptcy has long been common as a tool for corporations like Johnson & Johnson and Purdue Pharma to respond to mass lawsuits. According to Marie Reilly, a Penn State law professor and bankruptcy expert, the Archdiocese of Portland was the first diocese to use this legal maneuver back in 2004, when it declared bankruptcy amid child sexual abuse claims. Since then, Reilly said, 35 other dioceses have filed for bankruptcy, with 16 of those cases coming in the past four years.

Reilly attributes the recent acceleration in the trend to the wave of legislation like Maryland’s Child Victims Act. Thirteen of the recent bankruptcies have been concentrated in states like New York and California, which recently passed look-back windows—periods of time in which victims can bring forth child sexual abuse claims previously blocked by the statute of limitations.

There are some potential solutions to the problem. In April, Representative Deborah Ross (D-NC) introduced legislation to amend bankruptcy proceedings in cases of child sex abuse. The bill would give victims the opportunity to submit impact statements and mandate a discovery hearing where information about individual cases and institutional negligence could come to light. It would also require an independent forensic accountant to examine the bankrupt organization’s estate, along with the holdings of any third parties involved in the proceedings, to ensure victims receive a settlement commensurate with the organization’s worth.

Lancaster supports the bill, though she acknowledges that no amount of money will heal the emotional scars of abuse. Ideally, she’d like to see prosecutions of attackers and a memorial for survivors. But she knows that, at the moment, money is the most important tool survivors have at their disposal to hold the diocese to account. “That is the only thing that the church as a corporation is going to understand,” she said. “If we hit them hard enough, maybe they’ll really do something about the abuse situation.”

When I spoke to Lancaster this spring, she was simultaneously counseling her clients on how to file their claims—which often means recounting abuse in excruciating detail—while working on her own claim. It’s a frustrating, emotionally draining process. But Lancaster’s life has been a lesson in moving forward, even at high emotional cost. “It’s upsetting, but I pushed that into the back so that I can be a fighter in the front, you know?” she said.

After the Child Victims Act passed and victims were looking for representation, another lawyer cautioned Lancaster against disclosing her abuse to her clients because, as Lancaster recalled, “They can’t see a weak person standing before them to fight for them.” She disagreed.

“One of the reasons people will come and talk to me is because they know I’ve been there,” she told me. “I say, ‘I’m a survivor, and I understand.’”

Complete Article HERE!

New York appeals court rules insurer doesn’t have to pay out for Archdiocese of New York abuse claims

The exterior of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City is seen in a nighttime file photo. A New York state appeals court ruled unanimously April 23, 2024, in favor of insurers against the New York Archdiocese, arguing they should not be held liable for the church’s systemic failures on abuse.


A New York state appeals court has found that an insurer for the Archdiocese of New York is not required to cover costs for settling hundreds of sex abuse claims — a ruling the archdiocese has called “extremely disappointing” and “wrongly decided.”

On April 23, five justices of the First Judicial Department of the New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division unanimously overturned a December 2023 order from a lower court that would have compelled a group of Chubb insurance entities — who had issued more than 30 liability policies to the archdiocese and several of its parishes, schools and entities between 1956 and 2003 — to pay out money for more than 1,500 abuse cases.

Those claims against the archdiocese were brought under the state’s Child Victims Act of 2019 and Adult Survivors Act of 2022, both of which opened the door to hundreds of previously time-barred suits.

According to court documents, some of the approximately 1,500 cases dated “as far back as the 1930s” and alleged childhood sexual abuse “by various individuals including (archdiocesan) clergy and religious, clergy from religious orders and other dioceses, and lay people such as foster families, childcare staff, parish volunteers, and teachers and other school staff.”

The documents said that “about 86%” of the cases fell under policies the archdiocese had purchased from Chubb, named in the suit as Century Indemnity Company.

The appellate court said the lower court “should not have dismissed the complaint on the finding that it only raised bare legal conclusions.

“The complaint adequately sets forth factual bases for the declaratory judgments it seeks,” the justices said. “The complaint alleges that issues surrounding child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese ‘reached the Church’s highest levels’ and that ‘senior (church) officials had known for decades that members of the clergy had and were committing sexual abuse,’ as reflected in newly public sources.”

Chubb holds that the archdiocese had known about the abuse and had failed to act accordingly — a tactic the company said had violated the state’s “known loss doctrine,” by which an insured party cannot secure insurance to cover a loss that is known prior to the date the policy takes effect.

However, the principle does not apply in cases where the insured is aware of a risk of loss, and the appellate court dismissed that aspect of Chubb’s argument as “not viable.”

“If allowed to stand, the decision will permit insurance companies to evade the contractual obligations of the policies they issued,” Joseph Zwilling, director of communications for the archdiocese, told OSV News in an April 23 statement.

Zwilling indicated the appellate court’s decision “demands appeal” to New York’s highest court, but said the Archdiocese would “consider and determine what is the best way to further policyholders and plaintiffs interests.”

“To suggest, as the court does in today’s decision, that Chubb can avoid paying claims to victim-survivors of sexual abuse simply by claiming that the abuse was ‘expected or intended’ without offering any proof, opens the door to years of litigation and courtroom battles and closes the door on prompt and just resolution to meritorious claims,” he said.

Zwilling added that Chubb was “demonstrating that they would rather pay attorneys to litigate against the Archdiocese of New York and others to whom it issued policies rather than settle legitimate claims made by the victim-survivors of abuse.

“It is a cold, cynical, calculating decision by Chubb which is clearly more interested in protecting its bottom line than in honoring the policies they issued,” he said. “These bullying legal tactics violate the spirit of the Child Victims Act and the intention of the legislators who passed it, and defy the guidance given to all insurance companies by the Department of Financial Services of the State of New York to settle these cases expeditiously.”

In a statement emailed to OSV News, Chubb said the ruling meant that the archdiocese “must now disclose what it knew and when it knew about child abuse perpetrated by priests and employees.

“That disclosure is critical to determining whether the (archdiocese’s) knowledge and cover-up precludes coverage,” said the statement, which also noted that as the litigation continues, “there is nothing to prevent the Archdiocese from paying claims to victims of horrific sexual abuse.

“The (archdiocese) has substantial financial resources to pay just compensation to victims today and Chubb continues to fund the legal defense of the Archdiocese under a reservation of rights,” said Chubb in its statement. “The principal obstacle to victims receiving compensation is the Archdiocese itself.”

In recent years, insurance coverage has become a critical factor in diocesan bankruptcies and settlements. Marie Reilly, a professor at Penn State Law and an expert in bankruptcy and commercial law, previously told OSV News that insurers have significantly restricted the terms of their general comprehensive liability policies, excluding coverage for incidents that took place decades earlier and challenging current claims as well.

“Insurers in the last five to 10 years have really been raising a lot of legal defenses, and uncertainty about their liability on these policies has made it much more complicated to settle cases,” said Reilly, who catalogs and studies U.S. Catholic diocesan bankruptcies in depth.

In 2021, Chubb agreed to pay $800 million towards a $2.7 billion fund that settled some 82,500 claims against the Boy Scouts of America.

This past February, a Chubb insurer, Century Indemnity Company, filed suit against the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey, and other entities, asserting it has no obligation to cover hundreds of claims of child sexual abuse brought against the defendants.

Complete Article HERE!

Nunavut court frees defrocked Oblate priest on bail

— Eric Dejaeger has been convicted of dozens of sexual offences in Canada, involving children, adults and animals

Former Nunavut priest Eric Dejaeger during his trial in Iqaluit.

By Kathleen Martens

A defrocked priest convicted of sexually abusing children in Nunavut will be flown to Kingston, Ont., to live in a federal half-way house after being released on bail.

Ontario lawyer Scott Cowan said Eric Dejaeger, 77, will be freed in Iqaluit on conditions imposed by justice of the peace Amanda Soper on Tuesday.

Cowan said Dejaeger is both a federal parolee and “Iqaluit detainee” – a situation that created an ideal situation for bail.

“The pitch made by me was, ‘Look, give him bail on the new charges and…harken to the fact that the life he’ll be going back to is one of constant supervision’,” Cowan said Wednesday.

“In this circumstance, his residential and supervisory status as a federal parolee meant that bail was a logical thing to do.”

An early photo of Eric Dejaeger when he was a Catholic priest in Nunavut.

Dejaeger will be living at the Henry Traill Community Correctional Centre in Kingston, a federal facility southwest of Toronto with 24-hour supervision, Cowan added.

“It’s basically part of a penitentiary; it’s on the grounds of (medium-security Collins Bay) penitentiary. So, the idea that he’s a free man would be a misstatement.”

The former priest with the Missionary Order of Mary Immaculate (OMI) is permitted to leave the facility for medical appointments and grocery shopping during the day without an escort, the lawyer said.

Dejaeger was serving a 19-year sentence for 32 sex crimes against Inuit children and adults in Igloolik, Nunavut when he was released on parole to the halfway house in June 2022, parole documents obtained by APTN News show.

He was freed from prison early under “statutory release” – a law enacted by Parliament that kicks in after an offender has served two-thirds of a “fixed-length” sentence – to the supervision of a parole officer.

Eric Dejaeger
Defrocked priest Eric Dejaeger has been released on bail to live in a halfway house in Kingston, Ont.

Dejaeger was living in the Henry Traill when he was arrested and charged with eight additional counts of child sexual abuse from his time as a Catholic missionary in Igloolik, Nunavut between 1978 and 1982.

Cowan said he was appointed by a court to represent Dejaeger, who was born in Belgium and became a Canadian citizen in 1977.

Dejaeger was first arrested in 2011 on immigration charges in Belgium and deported to Canada to face the sexual abuse charges laid in 1995.

He has been convicted of dozens of sexual offences in Canada, involving children, adults and animals in Nunavut and Alberta.

His victims in Alberta, where he was studying at the Newman Theological College in Edmonton in the 1970s, were a nine-year-old Indigenous boy from Grand Cache, Alta., and an eight-year-old boy and his six-year-old sister from Edmonton.

Dejaeger pleaded guilty to those crimes in 2015 and was sentenced to five years in prison, concurrent to his sentence for the Igloolik crimes.

He is no longer a priest but remains a member of the Oblates, confirmed Rev. Ken Thorson of OMI-Lacombe in Ottawa.

“While I respect the judicial process, I wish to apologize to anyone who has been harmed by Eric Dejaeger or by any Oblate,” Thorson said in an email to APTN.

“The Oblates of Mary Immaculate, OMI Lacombe Canada, did not pay for his bail or any of his legal costs. In fact I only learned of this (bail) news yesterday through the media.”

Thorson said it was common among religious communities like the Oblates to retain offensive members.

“This allows us to ensure appropriate monitoring and offer the support needed to reduce the possibility of recidivism,” Thorson said. “Putting men out on the street would transfer the financial and monitoring burden to society. We believe our approach is part of our congregational safeguarding commitment to the larger community.”

Complete Article HERE!