$1.5 million settlement moves diocese closer to resolving sexual abuse claims

Bishop Blase Cupich of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane/Tracy Simmons
Bishop Blase Cupich of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane/Tracy Simmons

The Spokesman Review reported today that the Catholic Diocese of Spokane is one step closer to resolving the sexual abuse claims and avoiding foreclosures of churches and schools.

According to the article, “A three-page letter written by Bishop Blase Cupich and distributed to parishioners on Sunday sought to assure churchgoers that the threat of foreclosure had passed. The $1.5 million was far less than initially feared to clear up lingering bankruptcy issues – most notably more than two dozen unresolved claims filed by former Morning Star Boys’ Ranch residents who said they were abused.”

Cupich said he will now review the accusations of abuse against Morning Star’s longtime director, the Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner. Weitensteiner has denied the claims and has not formally withdrawn from ministry.


About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Scholarly Assistant Professor at Washington State University.

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