Response to Diocese of Wilmington filing for Bankruptcy

Statement by Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director


Citizens of Delaware, especially the Catholic ones, should be wary about the motives of Bishop Malooly in filing for bankruptcy. It seems that he wants to keep the truth hidden regarding how much diocesan officials knew and how little they did to protect the children.

It is highly suspicious that the bankruptcy is filed on the eve of the trial that would have allowed the truth to be exposed and diocesan officials to be cross examined under oath where they would have had difficulty explaining why the children were not protected instead of the predators.

Clearly the bishop has lots of options other than filing for bankruptcy. He could seek a bank loan, seek a church loan, seek a government-backed loan, sue recalcitrant insurers, settle insured cases. Instead he chose to file and to keep victims from getting their day in court and from having the truth exposed.

We ask that Bishop Malooly:

– fully disclose his diocesan insurance, property, assets & cash.

– explain why he didn’t consult with parishioners before making his decision.

– allow just one victim to have his or her day in court. (Clearly he can’t believe that none of the victims are deserving.)

While Malooly claims he’s protecting church assets we believe he is merely protecting his reputation and the reputations of his staff and predecessors.

If money was indeed, the issue, Malooly had many options he never pursued.

He could have revealed his diocese’s wealth, to show he’s poor. He didn’t.

He could have sought a bank loan, if need be (like Orange County). He didn’t.

He could have sought a loan from church sources (like Boston). He didn’t.

He could have asked his flock to donate toward healing. He didn’t.

H could have asked for a gradual payment of any settlement. He didn’t.

Instead, he took the self-serving, coward’s way out.

Instead of disclosing the truth, he’s hiding it.

Instead of fostering healing, he’s delaying it.

Instead of moving his diocese forward, he’s holding it back.

What happens now? Now, through the well-crafted words and careful-honed PR moves, Malooly claims this is about wanting all victims to be treated equally, while playing legal hardball and actually treating all victims harshly.

He’ll spend literally millions of hard-earned and generously-given donations from decent Catholics on high-priced lawyers who will protect him and his diocese’s secrets.

And this will drag on for months or years, postponing healing, disclosure, openness, and protection.

Malooly talks of caring for the ‘church’s mission’ (not, interestingly, the church’s children). But he obviously doesn’t consider protecting the innocent, healing the wounded and disclosing the truth part of his church’s ‘mission.’