The largest settlement ever in a bankruptcy case involving clerical abuse
The Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis has offered $210 million to survivors of clergy sexual abuse in order to draw itself out of bankruptcy. This is the largest settlement ever in a bankruptcy case involving sexual misconduct of the clergy.
After subtracting administrative expenses, the $210 million will go towards survivor compensation and will be available upon approval of the judge presiding over the case.
“Today is a great day for us and all survivors,” abuse survivor Jamie Heutmaker said in an article by the Catholic News Service. “There’s still work to be done, but we’ve obviously done some really good work here, which I’m really proud of.”
The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in January 2015 amidst sexual assault allegations that have arisen over the past few decades. The church offered the settlement to end the expense of the trial, stating that their money would be better used towards spreading the gospel. They hope that as a result of the settlement the bankruptcy can be resolved in a few months.
The parishes will also receive a channelling injunction, prohibiting further litigation against them on this matter.
“Without [survivors’] courage and persistence, today could not be possible…” Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda said. “I recognize that the abuse stole so much from you — your childhood, your innocence, your safety, your ability to trust, and in many cases, your faith. Relationships with family and friends, relationships in your parishes and communities were harmed. Lives were forever changed. The church let you down, and I’m very sorry.”