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Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico is Set to File for Bankruptcy Protection as it Seeks to Address a....

September 5, 2013

For sex abuse survivors from Northwestern New Mexico and Northern Arizona, now is the time to come forward.

We can help.

But time is of the essence. And it’s important to act promptly.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico has announced plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this month, faced with a growing number of child sexual-abuse claims against members of its clergy.

Those abused by Catholic clergy or employees of the Gallup Diocese may be able to file a claim in U.S. bankruptcy court.

However, these cases also come with a ticking time clock known as a “claims bar date.” After a deadline is set, abuse claims can be barred by statute of limitation.

The Diocese of Gallup has parishes in six counties in New Mexico, three counties in Arizona and at seven Native American reservations, including the Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, and parts of the Apache reservations. There have been a number of accused pedophile priests from this diocese, including Rev. Clement A. Hageman, Rev. Paul Sanchez and <a href=””>Rev. John T. Sullivan</a>, according to, a watchdog group that tracks clergy sexual abuse.

On Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, Bishop James S. Wall read a letter to church-goers, telling them that in the face of insurmountable lawsuits the diocese saw few options but to seek protection from the courts, Catholic News Service reported.

“Given the financial circumstances of the diocese, I have come to the conclusion that the only fair, equitable and merciful way to balance these obligations is by filing a Chapter 11 reorganization,” Bishop said in a prepared statement.

The Gallup Diocese will be the ninth U.S. diocese or archdiocese to file for bankruptcy protection since 2004.

If you have been abused or have information about someone you know who has been abused, contact me at: [email protected]. Or call our office at: 206-257-3590 or toll-free at: 855-LAW4CSA, 855-529-4272.

For further reading:


Toll free: 855-529-4274
Tim Kosnoff, child sex-abuse attorney: 425-830-8201
Dan Fasy, child sex-abuse attorney: 206-462-4338
Kosnoff Fasy, Seattle office: 206-257-3590

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