Alleged victims sue churches to kill asset move

November 11, 2003
Category: Uncategorized


By Barney Lerten
Tuesday, November 11, 2003 Posted: 5:00 PM
Reference Code: AR-12383

November 11 – A Portland attorney for 18 alleged clergy sex abuse victims has filed suit in Klamath County against the Bend-based Catholic Diocese of Baker and more than 60 churches in Central and Eastern Oregon. It seeks to reverse the bishop’s allegedly fraudulent transfer of assets to those parishes, or hold them liable for potential trial damages.

The Most Rev. Robert Vasa, bishop of the Diocese of Baker, confirmed recently to Bend Bugle that he had signed the paperwork transfering the assets to dozens of churches across the diocese several months ago, “shortly after the decision” in May by a Deschutes County Circuit Court judge that he could proceed.

“I had already had all of the titles of the property and the warranty deeds prepared,” Vasa said last month. “They just needed a date and a signature.”

After a May 14 hearing, at which the bishop testified, Circuit Judge Michael Adler lifted a temporary restraining order he had issued in February that had barred the diocese from transfering millions of dollars in property and assets to its 60 parishes and missions.