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Archdiocesan bankruptcy guided by Holy Spirit?

Portland, Oregon Archbishop John Vlazny testified on Saturday that he believes his decision to file a bankruptcy claim for the Portland archdiocese was guided by the Holy Spirit, according to local media reports.

Catholic World News reports that in a mandated meeting with creditors of the archdiocese, Archbishop Vlazny revealed that he made the final decision to seek bankruptcy over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

"I had a feeling the Holy Spirit was working," he said.

In his meeting with creditors, the archbishop avoided a direct answer to questions about whether the Vatican had approved his decision before the Portland archdiocese sought bankruptcy protection on 6 July.

He responded to questions by saying that he had been in regular communication with Vatican officals, but added: "In the end, it becomes my decision."

The creditors' attorneys questioned a $A698,300 payment made by the archdiocese to a law firm in the week prior to the bankruptcy filing. The Portland archdiocese has claimed only $A13.96 million in assets.

The archdiocese sought bankruptcy in the face of a number of lawsuits involving sexual abuse by Portland clergy; the archdiocese could face legal damages of well over $A139 million if the plaintiffs are successful in these suits.

Archdiocesan bankruptcy guided by Holy Spirit? (Catholic World News 10/8/04)

John L Allen: Who is in charge?; Financing development; The Portland archdiocese files for bankruptcy; More on a papal trip to Ireland; A talk with Archbishop O'Malley; More about life-sustaining medical treatment (National Catholic Reporter 9/7/04)
Portland Archdiocese files for bankruptcy (Catholic News Service 6/7/04)
Portland archdiocese declares bankruptcy (Catholic World News 6/7/04)
Blessed are the bankrupt (The Tablet 17/7/04)
The church and bankruptcy: an expert view A professor of canon law discusses a key legal issue of the situation the Archdiocese of Portland is facing ( 31/7/04)
Archdiocese of Portland

11 Aug 2004