Byrnes said the bankruptcy will provide “finality for victim survivors that they’ve been heard and understood.”
Attorney Leander James, who is working with alleged victims in Guam, said in a statement the move will help resolve current lawsuits from more than 180 claims of abuse through settlements.
“We welcome the announcement,” James said in a statement. “Bankruptcy provides the only realistic path to settlement of pending and future claims.”
James says the bankruptcy will create a deadline for victims to file claims.
“This bankruptcy filing will automatically stop any further action in the lawsuits that have been filed, and it will create a deadline for all Guam clergy abuse victims to file claims,” James said. “It will be important for those who have not come forward to do so and file their claim.”
Guam attorney Anthony Perez, who is also representing victims, says the bankruptcy does not mean the archdiocese will be shuttered.
“Just because the archdiocese is filing for bankruptcy does not mean it will go out of business,” Perez said. “In my discussions with attorneys from my team with extensive experience in these types of bankruptcies, this filing will allow the archdiocese to reorganize and still be operational after the claims are paid and the bankruptcy is closed.”
Civil Beat reported about the wide scope of the scandal engulfing the Catholic Church in Guam in a special project, “Faith Betrayed.”