Detroit Archdiocese Plans to Restructure, Avoiding Priest Abuse Lawsuits

Cardinal Adam Maida, a conservative canon lawyer and Archbishop of Detroit has announced plans to make the Archdiocese’s 288 parishes individual entities. The Archdiocese of Detroit, like all other archdioceses and dioceses in the United States, has been structured as a corporation sole, an arcane legal structure that vests all finances, church property, and parishes in the Corporate Sole who is the bishop. The move is viewed as a way to avoid priest abuse litigation and protect millions of archdiocesan assets. If the move is executed, it will make it more difficult for survivors of sexual abuse to hold the church and the perpetrators of the abuse accountable for their actions. Maida also holds a civil law degree and would be in a position to understand the civil benefits for such a move.