Via Media

From Portland

Seventy-nine-year-old Marvel Kunkle is going to court, and she’s not happy about it.

Kunkle, a self-described "cradle Catholic," has attended St. Peter Catholic Church in west Eugene for 40 years. Because she’s among the 390,000 Catholics who live in Western Oregon, she’s also a defendant in the Archdiocese of Portland’s bankruptcy case.

In a legal maneuver, the archdiocese in July listed all 390,000 parishioners as class-action defendants in the bankruptcy filing, made last year as the church struggled to respond to more than 200 claims of sexual abuse by priests.

Kunkle and every other local Catholic has until Monday to formally "opt out" of the class action. But few have, in part because of a Catch-22: Attorneys for alleged abuse victims have said they probably will name any parishioner who opts out as an individual defendant.

What a wretched, wretched situation, at every turn.

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