Church: Guam property should not be sold to pay abuse claims

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — The Catholic Church in Guam says parishes and schools should not be sold to settle more than 200 clergy sexual abuse claims.

The Pacific Daily News reported Tuesday that the statement by the Archdiocese of Agana Tuesday was in response to a lawsuit filed by the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.

The lawsuit includes a list of Catholic schools, parishes, vehicles and other assets the creditors believe should be considered archdiocese property and liable for sale.

The archdiocese says parishes and schools are not owned by the archdiocese, but rather held in trust, and that the "trust relationship" is supported by Guam statute.

Guam's Catholic Church filed for bankruptcy in January, allowing the archdiocese to avoid trial in dozens of child sexual abuse lawsuits and enter settlement negotiations.