ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – A bankruptcy judge has declined to order a New Mexico diocese to hold a new auction after questioning practices at the diocese’s September sales.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma said Wednesday that ordering a new auction could reduce the money available to settle the Diocese of Gallup’s bankruptcy case.
He says that would be harmful to the creditors, who are victims of sexual abuse by priests.
The diocese raised about $160,000 from two auctions.
Thuma had asked the diocese to explain why it barred a reporter and a researcher from attending the auction. He advised officials to keep future events open to the public.
An attorney for the diocese argued Wednesday that there was public notice of the auction and anyone who wanted to bid could participate.