The LA Archdiocese will have to sell its headquarters and possibly other properties because of the growing costs of fighting and settling lawsuits for clergy abuse, Cardinal Roger Mahony said yesterday. Plaintiffs’ attorneys said the doomsday announcement was a PR ploy intended at generating sympathy. Via the LA Times:
“The cardinal has instructed his attorneys to pull out every weapon to try to deny victims a single nickel,” said plaintiffs attorney John Manly. He said the church has enough insurance coverage and other assets to settle the cases without unloading real estate. “The notion that the cardinal would have to sell buildings to pay settlements is just laughable,” Manly said.
A Mahony spokesman declined to answer any questions about the prospective sales, and an attorney for the archdiocese did not respond to an interview request.
The church has land holdings in Southern California worth an estimated $4 billion, a Times analysis has found.
The 12-story Mid-Wilshire headquarters, donated by Thrifty Payless donated in 1995, is worth more than $40 million. (Some history of the archdiocese’s payouts from my blog morgue.)