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Building Headquarters Of Diocese Of Rockville Centre Sold

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The Diocese declared bankruptcy in October as it's facing hundreds of lawsuits from the Child Victims Act. CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reports.

Video Transcript

- A really painful announcement during Holy Week. The headquarters of the Diocese of Rockville Centre has been sold.

- The diocese declared bankruptcy in October facing hundreds of Child Victims Act lawsuits. CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan has this.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: In the footprint of the majestic cathedral sits the pastoral center of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. The Chancery, as it's known, a five story building on North Park Avenue where top diocesan officials are headquartered, has just been sold for $5.2 million amid bankruptcy.

MARY FARJADO: It's unfortunate for us as Catholics. I'm sad to see things go, but on the same token, they've covered it up for too long.

MANNY FAJARDO: They should pay for these sexual abuses of the priests.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Home to 1.4 million Catholics, Rockville Centre became the largest diocese in the United States to declare bankruptcy, facing more than 200 lawsuits under the New York state's Child Victims Act.

- I was sexually abused by my parish priest when I was in approximately the 5th or 6th grade.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: The bishop says diocesan operations and ministry will not be affected by the sale. They've not yet finalized a location for their new headquarters.

At the same time, the diocese has decided to close seven of its grammar schools in the last year because of declining enrollment and revenue exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Parent Lori Lang is school board president of St. Thomas in West Hempstead.

LORI LANG: Now, I have to scramble and figure out where to send them to school. It's just heartbreaking for me, and I just wish the diocese would be more forthcoming with what their long term plan is.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Parents want some of the money from the sale of headquarters to go to the schools set to close.

- Bishop Barres, we've been outreaching him. We just feel ignored. We want to know, if you got all this money, at least, why can't we give it to the children.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: The diocese and the official committee of unsecured creditors have agreed that all proceeds from the sale will be used exclusively to compensate creditors, but parents vow to fight the school closures. On Long Island, Jennifer McLogan, CBS 2 News.

- The diocese does say the doors of St. Agnes cathedral and its complex are open and will continue to welcome the faithful.