Facing over 500 child sex abuse lawsuits, the Archdiocese of San Francisco is on the brink of bankruptcy, a move aimed at addressing its mounting legal challenges.

In an announcement Friday, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone revealed that the Archdiocese is seriously considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, as the Chronicle reported.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the "reorganization" one, so it would reportedly allow the corporate legal entity, the "Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco," to freeze litigation, reorganize finances, and settle the lawsuits collectively, rather than individually. The archdiocese said the decision wouldn’t affect its parishes and schools in the city.

Other nearby Catholic dioceses have already filed for bankruptcy protection — the Diocese of Oakland, facing 330 child sex abuse cases, filed for bankruptcy in May, and the Diocese of Santa Rosa, facing a backlog of legal cases, filed in March, according to the Examiner.

The new lawsuits have emerged as a result of the newish state law that extended the statute of limitations for reporting childhood sexual abuse. The Archdiocese of San Francisco said in an open letter that the vast majority of the cases occurred in the “1960s, 1970s, and 1980s and involved priests who are deceased or no longer in ministry,” although KNTV reported that the lawsuits also include newer accusations against multiple San Francisco priests still in the ministry.

Dan McNevin, who represents the nonprofit, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, told the Chronicle that the decision would "stiff-arm survivors who have the courage to tell their stories" and allow the San Francisco archdiocese to "keep their secrets and ... more of their wealth."

Image of Archdiocese of San Francisco via Google Street View.