Davenport Diocese to sell three properties soon
By Barb Arland-Fye
Catholic News Service
DAVENPORT, Iowa (CNS) -- Three Davenport diocesan properties --including the house that Bishop Martin J. Amos recently moved into --were to go on sale by Christmas as part of the diocese's bankruptcyproceedings. A fourth property, the diocese's St. Vincent Centerheadquarters, will be sold later.
The Diocesan Corporate Board and Finance Council met Dec. 4 and decidedto take action immediately because the property must be sold tocompensate the diocese's creditors, victims of clergy sexual abuse.
Details of the proposed sales will be included in the diocese'sreorganization plan, which was to be delivered to the bankruptcy courtby Christmas, said Dick Davidson, the diocese's bankruptcy attorney.
Bishop Amos' suggestion that he would be willing to move into a smallerhouse encouraged diocesan leadership to move ahead with listing theproperties, said Char Maaske, the diocese's chief financial officer.The bishop's house, a duplex, has an assessed value of $196,260.
The bishop said he doesn't need that much space and wants a home thediocese can afford. He would even be willing to put his carpentryskills to work by taking a house that might require a little fixing up.
Bishop Amos told The Catholic Messenger, Davenport diocesan newspaper,that recently while doing laundry and cleaning the house he decided hewould be willing to downsize. He realized he had a lot more to cleanthen he's used to. For many of his 38 years in ministry, he has made dowith two rooms -- a bedroom and sitting room, he said.
Maaske said the corporate board and finance council selected three realestate companies at random to manage the sale of the three properties-- the bishop's residence; a 26-acre farm in southwest Davenport thathas an assessed value of $110,630; and a house across the street fromMount Calvary Cemetery, with an assessed value of $81,740.
Diocesan officials also have been looking at commercial property torent as headquarters after the St. Vincent Center is sold at a laterdate. That property has an assessed value of $4,160,800.
Any action the diocese takes concerning the sale of property willrequire the bankruptcy judge's approval, as will the reorganizationplan.
The Creditors Committee also must approve the reorganization plan andtheir representatives will be involved in negotiations with insurancecompanies pertaining to diocesan liability insurance policies, Davidsonsaid. Those insurance policies will become part of the assets of thebankruptcy estate.
As another part of the reorganization plan, the diocese must placeadvertisements in various newspapers to seek victims of clergy sexualabuse who have not yet come forward.
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