The Buffalo Catholic Diocese is expected to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the near future, due to its dire financial situation stemming from a slew of sexual abuse lawsuits.
But if the diocese takes that step, Catholic Health – one of the region’s largest health care systems – would not be impacted, Catholic Health leaders say.
“Catholic Health institutions have been serving the health care needs of our community for more than 170 years and that will continue, apart from the challenges facing the diocese,” said Mark Sullivan, Catholic Health’s president CEO.
While the two organizations share a mission related to the Catholic Church, they operate separately.
Here’s a look at the reasons:
Q: Why wouldn’t a bankruptcy filing by the diocese affect Catholic Health?
A: The health system and the diocese are separate entities. Catholic Health fully owns its assets and those are separate from the diocese, Sullivan said.
Q: Could Catholic Health’s assets be attached to any judgments against the diocese?
A: No. The same answer applies to any donations made to the Foundations of Catholic Health. Those donations can only be used for the needs of the ministries they support, Sullivan said.
Q: How is Catholic Health organized?
A: The system is locally governed and managed. It is a financially independent, nonprofit licensed by the state, with a 23-member local board of directors, Sullivan said. The directors include business leaders, community members and physicians.
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