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Archbishop: Mortgaging Santa Fe cathedral was only option

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Archbishop John C. Wester is speaking about the decision to mortgage an iconic Santa Fe cathedral to meet a settlement agreement tied to church sex abuse victims. Wester told the Santa Fe New Mexican on Thursday the archdiocese has “pretty much sold everything.” Parishes were told last month they would collectively need to borrow $12 million to pay for the settlements. Still, the decision to use the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi shocked many. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection in 2018 as sex abuse claims surged. It agreed in May to a tentative deal totaling more than $121 million and involving 375 claimants.