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gamagin
02-18-2009, 07:22 AM
assets listed include Gonzaga U & Seattle University

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008755234_aporjesuitsbankruptcy1stldwritethru.htm l

Pallet
02-18-2009, 09:05 AM
Here is the text of an email Fr. Spitzer sent out this morning. It says that GU isn't an asset of the Oregon Province.

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Last night, the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus announced that it has filed for bankruptcy protection with the United States Bankruptcy Court in Portland, Oregon.

The bankruptcy petition comes as a result of millions of dollars in claims alleged against the Oregon Province by victims of sexual abuse. The hearts of our entire community go out to those victims and their families who have suffered so tragically from these incidents.

The Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus is a completely separate organization from Gonzaga University. Gonzaga was separately incorporated and registered with the Secretary of State in Washington in 1894. Gonzaga University's assets are its own and not subject to others’ creditors.

I felt it was important that you receive this communication directly from me. I thank you for your continued support of Gonzaga University and for the faith and trust you have placed in us. Please be assured of my prayers for you as an integral part of our community.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Spitzer, S.J. signature

Robert J. Spitzer, S.J.
President

LongIslandZagFan
02-18-2009, 09:22 AM
assets listed include Gonzaga U & Seattle University

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008755234_aporjesuitsbankruptcy1stldwritethru.htm l


Someone claiming and reality are two different things. Not blaming the messenger gamagin. That statement was made by the lawyer looking to get as much money as possible.

gamagin
02-18-2009, 10:05 AM
Someone claiming and reality are two different things. Not blaming the messenger gamagin. That statement was made by the lawyer looking to get as much money as possible.

thanks. Of course the court cases all long have been trying to clear the trail of culpability from the various chains of command within the church, the parishes, the dioceses (plural) and now the Province. Rome, too, ultimately.

As you know, the laws are pretty clear. Whether there was complicity, otoh, and where the deep pockets are/were, and who knew what and when, what they did or failed to do, and on and on, is quite another matter.

It's also where every good lawyer, worth his salt, will necessarily be digging while his counterpart will necessarily be putting up barriers.

And so far, the money has been flowing fairly regularly up the chain of command and is bound to wind up, one day, right at or close to the very top of all the various religious entities. No matter who claims immunity.

I believe the only reason the payments keep coming, is the vulnerability.

So in that sense, Spitzer's letter could be read two different ways: GU is either immune (so don't worry) or GU/Jesuits etc., will never allow immunity to be tested. somehow.

therein lies the case. Otherwise, the Province wouldn't need protection.

would you agree ?

LongIslandZagFan
02-18-2009, 10:12 AM
GU doesn't need protection as it has been independent since the 1890s.

gamagin
02-18-2009, 11:13 AM
GU doesn't need protection as it has been independent since the 1890s.

twice in my lifetime. Suspect there were others. fact is, we all need protection at times. But I know what you are saying. I hope this time, it stands the test.

Or better yet, it never gets that far because we've finally run out of victims and claims. What a sad, sad mess.

gamagin
02-18-2009, 03:59 PM
I'd forgotten about all those Jesuit high schools . . . It looks like things are covered.

OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

February 18, 2009

Dear Friends of Prep,

Yesterday the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus filed for reorganization in Portland under the federal bankruptcy laws. We have been told by the province that after years of attempting to deal sincerely and pastorally with victims of abuse by a small number of Jesuits, primarily in Alaska but also here in Washington and Oregon, the financial burden of the ensuing lawsuits became too much for the province to bear. The province thus determined that an orderly process had to be set to fairly compensate the victims with the limited funds available and to also reasonably discover all other cases that may exist.

How will this legal action affect Gonzaga Prep? Neither the school nor our foundation is a party in the lawsuits or the bankruptcy. In 1954 when the high school separated from then Gonzaga College, the school was separately incorporated under the laws of the state of Washington. Our foundation, which supports the school's Fair Share program, was also separately incorporated under Washington law when it was started in the 1960's. Gonzaga Prep receives no money from the province and pays no money to the province. Our Jesuits receive employee salaries from the school. Although strongly and importantly linked in mission, we do not have any financial connection whatsoever with the province. The school and the foundation were wisely and appropriately incorporated when each was begun. Both of these corporations exist solely to support the education of those students who desire a Jesuit, Catholic, and college preparatory high school education in the city of Spokane.

Gonzaga High School (now Gonzaga Prep) was founded by the Jesuits in 1887, and so many of us have been helped, supported, and inspired by their presence in our lives. The spirituality of St. Ignatius is the foundation of our mission here at Prep, as well as at St. Al's, Gonzaga University, and fifty high schools and twenty-eight universities across the country. We work with the Jesuits in this ministry together to influence our families with that spirituality and unique charism. The Jesuits' dedication to mission is uncommon in this world, and the vast majority of Jesuits are men of strong faith, who have lived lives of fidelity to their vows and to their apostolic work.

As a Catholic, a lifelong educator, and a human being, I am outraged by any abuse of a person and believe that any perpetrators should be held accountable. All victims deserve our support and should be helped. I am also saddened deeply that so many great Jesuits are being affected by the senseless actions of a few. Please pray for the healing of all of those involved in these situations.

Sincerely,

Al Falkner
President

Zag 77
02-19-2009, 09:57 PM
The plaintiffs will try to convince a judge that the assets should include GU, SU, G-Prep, Seattle-Prep, Bellarmine, etc. Pretty unlikely, but you never know if you might get a very liberal judge who might buy it at the trial court level. My take is that the separate incorporations of these institution decades before any of these allegation came up will win the day. If the incorporations had happened in the last few years and could be shown to be an attempt to dodge liability, then the plaintiffs might have a case. If an inital ruling goes against the Institutions, then it might take 8-10 years to go up to the 9th Circuit and eventually the Supreme Court.

The schools are much better off than what happened in the Spokane Diocese. Basically none of the schools or parishes were separately incorporated, and were ultimately viewed as being part of the Diocese.

If the insitutions win on summary judgment, then there is a pretty high liklihood that within a couple of years a settlement plan will be adopted like the Spokane Diocese Bankruptcy. A trustee will marshall all the assets from insurance or some real property holdings and then a special master will assess the victim claims and award payouts pursuant to a matrix. Lawyers get their cut of course.