The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany’s response to the motion filed on May 9, 2023, on behalf of the St. Clare’s pensioners acknowledges that it is appropriate for the issues in the case to be decided by the New York State Supreme Court, Schenectady County, and that the bankruptcy court should enter an order allowing the matter to go forward in state court. Because of the substantial effect a decision will have on its Chapter 11 Reorganization Plan, the Diocese has requested that the bankruptcy court require that regular status reports of the progress of the case be provided so that the bankruptcy court and the creditors in the bankruptcy case are apprised of developments that may affect the Chapter 11 proceeding. We are eager to see this matter resolved for the pensioners and for the Diocese.
We also want to address a statement made in Mary Hartshorne’s open letter to Pope Francis in early April, regarding the St. Clare’s pensioners. In it, she said, “We cannot pay our rent or mortgages, our medical bills, our gas or groceries. In some cases, we cannot bury our own dead.” This deeply concerns Bishop Edward Scharfenberger. We encourage anyone who may be facing such hardships to reach out, even if they are in litigation, provided that counsel would be willing. There are many wonderful and caring agencies throughout the Capital Region, including within our Diocese, and we would be happy to help make connections. No one should walk alone.