Archdiocese backtracks on request to seal records in bankruptcy case | Local News

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The Archdiocese of Santa Fe and four insurance companies on Monday waived a request to have certain records sealed from public view in its bankruptcy case involving hundreds of people who allege sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. .

In a meeting and conference call with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Thuma, attorneys handling the case also discussed last week’s sale of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Retreat and Conference Center in Santa Fe for approximately $6.75 million.

Modern Elder Academy, a Santa Fe-area company that provides lifelong learning opportunities, confirmed it was the buyer.

The archdiocese is selling properties in a bid to raise enough money to settle its Chapter 11 bankruptcy with more than 400 clergy sex abuse claimants.

Archdiocesan lawyer Thomas Walker had argued in court last month over the archdiocese’s filing and numerous insurers entered into confidential settlements in the 1990s when the clergy abuse scandal began to draw attention.

Los Angeles attorney James Stang, a committee attorney representing victims in the case, opposed the motion to keep the documents sealed. Stang wrote in response to the Archdiocese’s request “the need for transparency is overwhelming and creditors [victims] should not be kept in the dark.”

At Monday’s meeting, Walker said there was no need to seal the records. If the victims’ names and certain other material were redacted, he said, the archdiocese and insurance companies would not object to the documents being on the public record.

“We understand that keeping things secret is undesirable,” Walker said.

Stang noted that mediation in the bankruptcy case will resume next month. The case, more than three years old, is in its third mediator.

Walker told Thuma and the other attorneys that the archdiocese would bring in about $6.3 million after commission and closing costs from the Immaculate Heart sale.

The Modern Elder Academy and the Mighty Union, a Texas-based hotel company, fought over the property in early 2021. The archdiocese had listed the 12.4-acre property in August 2020 for $7.8 million.

Immaculate Heart, at 50 Mount Carmel Road, is between Museum Hill and St. John’s College and across from Santa Fe Preparatory School. Immaculate Heart began as a sanatorium 100 years ago and became the property of the archdiocese after World War II.

Immaculate Heart facilities include buildings with meeting rooms, classrooms, and other gathering places.

Modern Elder Academy majority owner Chip Conley purchased the 2,600-acre Saddleback Ranch near Galisteo in January 2021. He plans to start a “midlife wisdom school” in the United States to partner with the Midlife Elder Academy he opened in 2018 north of Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, to serve as a training camp. to cope with middle age.

Conley was traveling on Monday and was unavailable for comment.

In May, Conley said in an interview that he was considering a “country” version of Modern Elder Academy at Galisteo and a “city” version at Immaculate Heart. The Galisteo version will be more nature-focused, while the Immaculate Heart version could collaborate with neighboring schools, he said.

“We are extremely excited to work with existing tenants and surrounding schools to forge a rewarding cross-generational collaboration on what may one day also become known as ‘Education Hill,'” the Modern Elder spokesperson wrote, Joanie Griffin, in an email.

“Most importantly,” she added, “we are honored to join such a long-standing, tight-knit community and are committed to being supportive and respectful neighbors to its institutions and residents.”

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