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Status conference set for clergy sex abuse lawsuits

Posted: Sep 07, 2018 1:08 PM +10:00 Updated:

Will the 180-plus clergy sexual abuse lawsuits head for settlement, as planned? That and more will be discussed in a joint status conference at the District Court of Guam on Tuesday.  

Back in August, one group of plaintiffs threatened to abandon settlement talks, alleging the Church was "acting in bad faith."

The Lujan & Wolff firm, who represent majority of the plaintiffs and all the lawsuits filed in the federal court, reported that the Archdiocese of Agana would be banking on insurance coverage to front the cost of claims and that the Church was selling assets in a suspicious manner at "less than asking price."

As we reported, the Church's stateside legal counsel Mike Patterson assured the court it was all just a misunderstanding.

He advised that there are four properties being discussed and the reason for the transactions were "economic in nature."

Both Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood and Superior Court Judge Michael Bordallo agreed they cannot force parties into mediation.

In his recent Letter to the Faithful, Archbhisop Michael Byrnes addressed the issues ahead stating, "We want meaningful action. Justice must be served... We cannot fully repay what was taken from these brothers and sisters; we can only offer a token of justice through financial remuneration. Yet it is a tangible sign that demonstrates that we know a wrong has been done and there is a debt of justice to be paid. Ideally, it would be the perpetrators themselves who would be brought to justice; but time and distance preclude it at this time."

Tuesday's hearing starts at 8:30am.

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