The Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s decision to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is the latest twist in a long and often sordid story of individual abuse against children, protected by one of the most powerful institutions in New Mexico.

That the bankruptcy announcement came just before Advent, the beginning of the church liturgical year — the countdown to the birth of a savior, the light of the world — brings an ironic touch to the whole proceeding.

In New Mexico, the ugly scandal of decades of abuse by predatory priests, the institutional church’s role in covering up crime and sin and the long suffering of thousands of victims is a lingering, open wound.

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