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Church’s ads seek abuse victims

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Catholic Diocese of Tucson is placing ads in publications nationwide to notify abuse victims that they must file claims by a deadline or lose the right to seek compensation.

The diocese, which became the nation’s second to declare bankruptcy in September, is conducting a court-ordered campaign to locate victims of sexual abuse by clergy or other diocese employees.

The ads are estimated to cost about $60,000.

They began appearing Sunday in Arizona papers and are expected to run in USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Denver Post and El Imparcial of Hermosillo, Mexico.

The Tucson diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September in the wake of 20 lawsuits alleging abuse by clergy or other diocese employees.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court ordered that all persons claiming injury against the diocese for sexual abuse must file a claim by April 15.

An abuse scandal beginning in 2002 has affected the finances of Catholic institutions across the country.

In July the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., became the first to declare bankruptcy. Bishop William Skylstad of the Diocese of Spokane has said his diocese will file for bankruptcy at the end of this month.