Saturday, July 10, 2004

Diocese disputes paper's report

By Jim Hannah
Enquirer staff writer

COVINGTON - The Covington Diocese has no plans to file for bankruptcy, according to one of its attorneys.

Diocese attorney Carrie Huff issued the statement in response to news accounts to the contrary.

"The Diocese has no plans to file for bankruptcy at this time, nor did I or the Diocese ever indicate otherwise," she said.

She said the Kentucky Post inaccurately reported Thursday that the diocese is considering follow the lead of the Archdiocese of Portland and file for bankruptcy as it pays out millions of dollars to alleged priest sex-abuse victims.

"We are surprised and disappointed that general comments I intended as background observations in response to a reporter's inquiry about the ... Portland bankruptcy were taken out of context and catapulted by the Post into headline status," Huff said.

The Associated Press, which carried the Post story on its Kentucky news service, carried an article Friday correcting several facts. It included a statement from Huff saying the diocese "has no current plans to file for bankruptcy.''

However, Post editor Mike Philipps said his newspaper stands by its article.

"Our story speaks for itself," Philipps said. "We are comfortable with what we reported."

Kenneth R. Feinberg, the man who administered the Sept. 11 victim compensation fund, has been tapped to try to broker a settlement for the remaining claims of sexual abuse against the Covington Diocese. This is the latest move by the diocese to resolve all sexual abuse claims against it since Bishop Roger Foys was installed in July 2002.

The diocese announced in May that it had settled 45 individual claims for nearly $9 million since September.



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