By MICHAEL R. SISAK Associated Press
New York’s Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because of financial pressure from lawsuits over past sexual abuse by clergy members. It is now the largest diocese in the U.S. to declare bankruptcy amid the clergy abuse scandal. Bishop John Barres said more than 200 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by clergy members have been filed against the diocese since the 2019 passage of New York’s Child Victims Act. Barres said the diocese on Long Island could not continue to shoulder “the increasingly heavy burden” of the lawsuits. The Rockville Centre diocese is the latest of more than 20 Catholic dioceses in the nation to file for bankruptcy in the face of lawsuits over sexual abuse.