The Oregonian looks at the differences between the archdioceses of Portland and Boston and why Portland ended up declaring bankruptcy protection while Boston didn’t. Basically, Portland is facing civil suit damage requests several times larger than what Boston faced, while Boston had property, like the $90 million chancery grounds, that could be sold to an entity like Boston College, while Portland doesn’t.
We keep hearing people claim that parishes are closing in Boston to pay off sex abuse claims, but that hasn’t been true here. However, looking at Portland, that may soon be a reality. What will the lawyers and their clients say to parishioners suddenly bereft of their churches because the property had to be sold to pay them off? How much public sympathy will remain for the victims?