Church Assets Target of Montana Bankruptcy
More than $70 million in assets held by the Roman Catholic Church– including parishes in Billings and throughout Eastern Montana– could be at stake as part of the regional diocese’s bankruptcy.
The fallout comes amid claims of sexual assault by clergy as far back as the 1950s. Survivors of sexual assault at the hands of priests and nuns dating back to the mid-20th century say the Great Falls-based diocese has understated its total assets by not including properties held in local parishes, according to documents filed Monday in the federal bankruptcy court in Butte.
The Great Falls-Billings Catholic Diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, a move that church officials said would, ostensibly, help develop a compensation fund for the victims, and set aside money for future claims. A total of 86 victims are reportedly involved.