Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

The Diocese of Harrisburg became the first in Pennsylvania to seek bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Pennsylvania influenced a series of investigations into Catholic dioceses across the country when state Attorney General Josh Shapiro released a grand jury inquiry into six dioceses, including Harrisburg, in mid-2018.

  • Though state law prohibits victims of past abuse from suing their alleged perpetrators, a 2019 appellate court decision allowed victims to sue their dioceses beyond the statute of limitations.

What they're saying: "An attorney for the Harrisburg Diocese said it has been the target of several lawsuits since that opinion, while adding that he did not blame abuse victims for the diocese’s financial instability," per the Post.

Details: Bankruptcy proceedings freeze lawsuits in the 15 counties the diocese covers, and victims would be compensated as part of the bankruptcy judgment, per the Post.

  • Dioceses across the state paid almost $84 million to 564 sexual abuse victims as of December, per an AP review.

The big picture: 20 Catholic dioceses across the country have filed for bankruptcy protection since 2004, per BishopAccountability.org.

Go deeper

Supreme Court rejects GOP push to cut absentee ballot deadline in N.C.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an attempt by conservatives to shorten North Carolina's deadline for mail-in ballots from nine to three days.

The big picture: This is the latest of a series of decisions over mail-in ballot deadlines in various states.

Hurricane Zeta makes landfall on Louisiana coast as Category 2 storm

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta made landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana as a Category 2 storm on Wednesday, bringing with it "life-threatening storm surge and strong winds," per the National Hurricane Center.

What's happening: The hurricane was producing maximum sustained winds of nearly 110 mph and stronger gusts.

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