It was announced Friday, June 21, that almost 400 people have filed claims of clergy sexual abuse against New Mexico’s largest Roman Catholic diocese. In coming months, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe will negotiate reparations.
The actual number of people harmed by priest abuse in New Mexico is likely much bigger than 400, Albuquerque attorney Levi Monagle said. His firm, Hall & Monagle, represents about one-third of those claimants.
Still, he said, nearly 400 claims is shocking for a population this size. “The number of claims filed thus far really speaks to the intensity of the crisis here in New Mexico," he said, "and the saturation of this diocese with abusive priests over the past 4-5 decades.”
The Archidocese of Santa Fe is going through bankruptcy due to the number of sex abuse cases in recent years. In similar Church bankruptcies in the past, Monagle pointed out, the more densely populated dioceses of Portland, San Diego and Milwaukee all had fewer people come forward than in Santa Fe.
The window closed Monday, June 17, for filing claims, though there may be some money set aside for people who come forward in the future.
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