The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is continuing to list for sale many unused parcels of church property in an effort to help pay for settlements to sexual abuse victims.
CNA reported in April that the archdiocese intends to sell over 700 properties by late July to help pay for settlements.
Of the many more properties to be sold by an auctioneering firm, most are small vacant lots, fields, or grazing land donated to the archdiocese by families. In August 2020, the archdiocese listed the vacant St. Francis Cathedral School in downtown Santa Fe for $3.6 million.
The archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late 2018. At the time, Archbishop John Wester said there were between 35-40 active sexual abuse claims against the archdiocese; today there are at least 400.
Although many properties are set to be sold, earlier this month Archbishop Wester told a local high school, St. Pius X, that their school would not be one of them, thanks to commitments from donors.
Wester did warn, however, that the school’s success depends largely on sustained enrollment, and “enrollment numbers are lagging significantly for the coming year.”
“As Archbishop, I will continue to ensure that the school adheres to the theological and moral teaching of our beloved Catholic faith— something no other high school in the area can provide,” Wester wrote May 18.
The archdiocese has asked all of its parishes to contribute money if they have funds available, Fr. Clement Niggel, pastor of Our Lady of Belen Catholic Church, told the News Bulletin.