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Update on diocesan reorganization

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

January 10, 2024

Dear Friends:

I hope you’ve been enjoying a wonderful Christmas as we seek God’s blessings this New Year. I wish to update you on the status of the Diocesan reorganization case. As I mentioned previously, the Diocese of Ogdensburg continues to operate and carry on our mission in the ordinary course. Parishes continue to operate their programs and activities.

All State court lawsuits against the diocese, parishes and other Catholic entities are stayed. We are working to settle these lawsuits on a global basis as part of the mediation process in the reorganization case.

The bankruptcy judge has ordered that all contested issues, including the Child Victims Act (CVA) cases, be resolved through mediation. The bankruptcy judge has appointed Judge Gregg Zive to serve as mediator. Judge Zive has been a bankruptcy judge for nearly thirty years. He has experience in mediation, including serving as co-mediator in the Diocese of Rochester reorganization case. We feel that the appointment of Judge Zive as mediator will be helpful in bringing about a fair and timely resolution of the CVA cases.

Our attorneys have been preparing for the mediation process by disclosing documents with the Creditors’ Committee and insurers. That process is progressing in a satisfactory manner. Our hope is that we can begin the mediation process soon after the passing of the bar date for the filing of claims in the reorganization case (January 18, 2024). We hope to begin negotiations in February with all parties at the table, including the CVA claimants (represented by the Creditors’ Committee), insurance carriers, parishes, and the diocese. The parishes are represented by Mr. Jeffrey Dove, Esq. and a five-member parish steering committee (Father Demo, chair, and Fathers Morgan, Diesbourg, Robinson, and Hauser).

I ask for your continuing prayers that this matter move closer to resolution and that a just outcome for all is reached in a fair and expeditious manner. We are committed to fairly compensating survivors of sexual abuse. We need to keep them uppermost in our thoughts and prayers as we continue our mission to serve the people of the North Country.

Thank you for your prayerful support. May God bless you and your loved ones throughout this New Year.

Faithfully yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Terry R. LaValley
Bishop of Ogdensburg

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