Rep. Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, believes a “reckoning” is coming for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

The one-year look back for victims of childhood sexual abuse under the Child Victims Act opens Wednesday in New York. The diocese will likely be the target of hundreds, if not thousands, of lawsuits.

“(Victims) are entitled to pursue in civil action what it is they’re entitled to in terms of the pain and suffering and the expense that they’ve had to incur to deal with the emotional wreckage that comes with child abuse,” Higgins said.

There has been speculation the Buffalo Diocese could file bankruptcy in order to limit the potential financial impact of lawsuits. The congressman said he doesn’t know if that will come to fruition but he warned the church against the strategy.

“The fact of the matter is that would trigger a review of where the diocesan resources have been shifted to and why they were shifted there,” he said.

Higgins said the best course of action for the diocese is to do right by all the victims who have been wronged. He said “everybody’s suffering” but the church needs to be held accountable for its “lack of oversight and for hiding information” about priests and other trusted members of parishes who took advantage of those positions.