Churchgoers attend first mass since Diocese filed for bankruptcy

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — For hundreds of Catholics in and around Rochester, Sunday was the first mass since the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester filed for bankruptcy.

Mass was held today at St. Ambrose Church. Some churchgoers who attended said the filing doesn’t impact their faith, but they are aware of what’s going on.

“You know, its hard to all gather in right at the moment but it was business as usual in mass today. There was a re-read of what was said during the week by the bishop,” said Gary Palmer, attends during day mass.

“Knew it was coming not a surprise, not a surprise at all,” said Anne Erwin, member of three local churches.

Parishes are financially independent of the diocese, according to New York State Religious Corporation law. Therefore, local churches will not close.

Some going to mass Sunday see the bankruptcy as an option to keep the diocese going while supporting the victims.

“My wife and I, we try to keep it separate from what we believe in and what we come here to do on Sundays. The scandal is the scandal and over time it will play itself out and I think finically it was probably the only answer for the church to be able to deal it in a proper fashion with,” said Palmer.

Some think churchgoers should step up support of the church

“[I] Thought it was a crying Shame I knew why but I’m a stronger Catholic now than I ever have been and I think we all should dig deep in our pockets and give more money to the church and keep them going,” said Beverly Otto, attends Sunday mass.

Brian Delafranier is one of the people who filed claims against the diocese. He says he was abused as an altar boy.

News8 talked with Delafranier the day the diocese filed for chapter 11. He says the church must do more than offer financial compensation to victims.

“I deff don’t want the diocese to think that this is just the solve all to their problems,” said Brian Delafranier, a sexual abuse survivor.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows an organization to reorganizer finically, and create a plan for paying off debts.

The churchgoers on Sunday say the filing is not effecting their faith.

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