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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | People Search | Personals | Travel | Yellow Pages  December 20, 2004
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Spokane diocese files for bankruptcy amid clergy abuse lawsuits
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SPOKANE, Wash. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane has filed for bankruptcy protection, saying it doesn't have enough money to cover lawsuits filed by alleged victims of clergy abuse.

The dioceses of Portland, Oregon, and Tucson, Arizona, had previously filed for bankruptcy.

Spokane Bishop William Skylstad (SKIL'-stad), who was elected president of the U-S Conference of Catholic Bishops last month, says the Chapter Eleven filing is the best way to ensure that all victims are treated fairly and that the church continues its mission.

A federal bankruptcy court must now determine what assets can be used to pay claims and how much each victim will get.

Critics say Skylstad is trying to avoid a trial that would expose the lengths to which the church went to protect serial pedophiles.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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