ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester in New York has filed for bankruptcy.

The Democrat & Chronicle says the diocese filed a petition for Chapter 11 reorganization Thursday.

Rochester becomes the first of the state's eight dioceses to seek protection from creditors in bankruptcy court because of financial fallout from the church's decades-long sex abuse scandal.

A New York law that went into effect last month gives victims of childhood sexual abuse one year to file lawsuits that had previously been barred because the allegations were too old. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against churches and other institutions since it took effect last month.

The filing would help the diocese to reorganize its finances, marshal funds to pay compensation to accusers and create a plan for the diocese to continue operating.

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