SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Nearly 400 survivors of sexual abuse have filed claims in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse bankruptcy case. The time to file a claim expired on April 15.

In a letter to the congregation, Most Reverend Douglas Lucia, Bishop of Syracuse, said “One victim of sexual abuse is too many! And so, to see the number ‘371’ is particularly disheartening and of the greatest concern for me because of the damage done both directly and collaterally. To all victims of sexual abuse, I renew my commitment and that of this local Church to assist you in the healing process. We seek to make amends for the wrong and sinful behavior perpetrated against you and cannot apologize enough for the failure to protect you from your abusers.”

Claims were made possible as a result of the New York Child Victims Act, which extended the window to file reforming the statute of limitation.

The Diocese of Syracuse filed for bankruptcy in June 2020. The court has ordered the Diocese, its insurers, and a Committee of Unsecured Creditors to make efforts to resolve the case through mediation. The committee represents to interests of survivors in the case.

“The number of claims filed by survivors saddens the Committee, but we are encouraged by the many survivors that came forward to pursue justice,” said Kevin Braney, Chairperson of the Committee. “The Committee will do everything within its power to see that every survivor is treated fairly and respectfully during the bankruptcy process.”

Mediation will begin no later than May of 2021.

On Thursday, April 29 at noon the Syracuse Diocese will host a Mass For Healing at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Syracuse. “This time of prayer during National Child Abuse Prevention Month will particularly pray for the gifts of healing and fortitude for all victims of crime and oppression and will include a special blessing during the Mass,” said Bishop Lucia’s statement.