THE ARCHDIOCESE OF SAN FRANCISCO announced Monday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the face of hundreds of child sex abuse lawsuits. 

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone made the announcement on the diocese website, which includes a link to a video of Cordileone explaining the decision. 

“We believe the bankruptcy process is the best way to provide a compassionate and equitable solution for survivors of abuse while ensuring that we continue the vital ministries to the faithful and to the communities that rely on our services and charity,” Cordileone said. 

The filing, which is intended to help the diocese survive the financial fallout from more than 500 sex abuse lawsuits, only includes the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, not the church’s parishes, schools or “other entities,” he said. 

The move mirrors that of other Catholic dioceses both nationally and in the Bay Area, including those in Santa Rosa and Oakland.

‘Dangerous’ move

A lawyer representing alleged victims of childhood sexual abuse within the church criticized Cordileone’s announcement Monday. 

“Cordileone’s decision to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is dangerous and demonstrates the archbishop’s priority is secrecy and self-protection,” said Jeff Anderson, of Jeff Anderson and Associates. 

Kiley Russell writes primarily for Local News Matters on issues related to equity and the environment. A Bay Area native, he has lived most of his life in Oakland. He studied journalism at San Francisco State University, worked for the Associated Press and the former Contra Costa Times, among other outlets. He has covered everything from state legislatures, local governments, federal and state courts, crime, growth and development, political campaigns of various stripes, wildfires and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.