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Phelps abuse claimant blasts diocese for bankruptcy filing

Pete Saracino is one of 45 people who has filed sexual abuse claims against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester since the Child Victims Act opened a one-year window for claims that had been barred by the statute of limitations.

A Seneca Falls native and Phelps resident, Saracino claims he was sexually abused as a young boy at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Geneva by a Capuchin Order monk. Saracino has also sued that religious order, the New Jersey-based Capuchin Friars of the Province of the Sacred Stigmata and St. Francis-St. Clare Parish in Seneca Falls and Waterloo.

Diocesan officials, facing the possibility of even more claims being filed over the next year, filed for Chapter 11 reorganizational bankruptcy in federal court Thursday morning.

Saracino is not happy with the move.

“I have long held that the church leadership’s response to the tragedy of the criminal, sexual violation of children and vulnerable adults at the hands of its priests and nuns was, and continues to be, a profound betrayal of children, their families and their very mission to be the face of God on earth,’’ he said in a statement issued in response to the filing.

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