Over the last several decades patterns of sexual abuse of minor children have been brought to light within a number of institutions. These include the church, schools, and also organizations such as the Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts of America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 18, 2020, largely in response to the large number of sexual abuse claims made against the organization. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is also referred to as reorganization.It allows businesses time to restructure or reorganize their debts, while the business continues to operate.
Many congregations across denominations have hosted scouting groups throughout the years and some had Boy Scout charters. If that is the case in your congregation please take time to read the attached FAQ document and acquaint yourself and your congregational leadership with the “proof of claim.” If your congregation is to file such a proof it must be done by Nov. 16, 2020.
Each situation is different and as such there are no general rules in this situation. If you have further questions please contact the office of the bishop in NT-NL. We are grateful for the information provided by the ELCA legal counsel (note this is information, not legal advice). There is also more information at https://www.elca.org/Resources/Legal#Sexual. Part of our work #InMissionTogether is to resource our communities with accurate information.
Finally, please join me in prayer for those who suffered victimization at the hands of trusted adults. For too long our institutions, including the church, looked away from these issues. We repent from that failure to love our neighbor and will not do so anymore. May all who have suffered abuse know the love that God has for them and their infinite worth and value to their creator.